The End Of An Era
September 9, 2014 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Today Apple announced the latest iteration(s) of the iPhone - an embiggened iPhone 6 and the positively titanic iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the long-rumored Apple Watch. But perhaps the biggest news went under the radar - the company's iconic iPod (lately rebranded the iPod Classic), which famously reversed the company's years of decline and launched the era of digital music, has finally been put out to pasture.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish (467 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aw. I still have my original 15gb one somewhere, with music that I cannot seem to extract from it, which is extremely vexing.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


My iPad 1 still works, but I might not replace it when it goes...

(my twitter feed was equal "ugh that watch is hideous who would wear that" and " UGH who would wear a WATCH")
posted by The Whelk at 2:44 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Perfect Thing is now just another dusty antique cluttering up junk drawers and boxes in garages.

That said, I still have, and love, my 160 GB model; the battery is pretty much shot but it still works great as a kitchen stereo and I can fit All Of My Music on it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


I remember the first time I held a samsung galaxy tab, and was like "this would make a great phone, if I carried a bag." Bigger battery, giant screen. Predictably, my friend held it up to her head, and looked at me like I was an idiot. To which I replied "well, yes, you'd want to use a headset". I feel strangely vindicated that phones are getting larger and phablets are getting realer.
posted by Phredward at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2014


.

This announcement has given me the push to go ahead and get my iPod repaired. I was making due with my phone and streaming services but it just isn't the same.
posted by girlmightlive at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The second-generation Apple Watch is going to be incredible. (Never, ever buy first-gen Apple devices, kids.)
posted by entropicamericana at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [30 favorites]


Apple's take on the smartwatch features a radically new user interface primarily controlled by what the company calls its "Digital Crown," a knob on the side of the Apple Watch that allows users to magnify content, scroll down lists, make selections, and return to the home screen without touching or obstructing the screen.

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard
posted by Greg Nog at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I kinda want an i-watch, but I'm also old, as evidenced by the fact that I wear a watch. Is anyone putting odds on the success of that thing?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:50 PM on September 9, 2014


iCantEven
posted by Fizz at 2:50 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Apple Designer 1: "Hey people really liked the original iPhone right?'
Apple Designer 2: "Yup."
Apple Designer 1: "How bout we just make a watch that looks like that with fancy guts?"
Apple Designer 3: "Magical."
posted by Tevin at 2:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Is anyone putting odds on the success of that thing?

Apple, you say? I'll go with 100%.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


The fact that they didn't mention the battery life of the watch at all, apart from a quip about how they made it "easy to charge at night", makes me suspect that it will be the worst product Apple has offered in decades.
posted by ymgve at 2:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [20 favorites]


Previous glowing rectangle trash, slightly newer glowing rectangle even better say glowing rectangle community. "it's better cause you can touch it" says fan of luminous flat plane.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [123 favorites]


The best part of the Apple Watch is that it is actually called "Apple Watch" and NOT iWatch.
posted by Tevin at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Onion snarks, but I'm actually seriously considering an iPhone 6+ for my primary traveling computer. Bring along a nice bluetooth keyboard (perhaps this little beauty) and as long I have access to my Dropbox and some form of office softwares I'm pretty much set.

Which is kind of awesome.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2014


I hope not. It's the product I'd wished they'd make for at last a decade now.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2014


o

Ever since I got an iPod Classic, my reaction to each new smartphone, music player and phablet has been "Less space than a Classic? Lame."

It now seems that I'll be saying that for the rest of my life- or at least until I can no longer find a patch of the planet unsullied by the tendrils of 3G coverage.
posted by droro at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I just wish I didn't have to resort to unofficial Youtubes to hear the new U2 album. Damnit Bono!
posted by kmz at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2014


To accompany the new embiggened form factors

I think "embiggened" may have just crossed the threshold into "actual real word."
posted by malapropist at 2:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I'm a little horrified about the Watch, but I was also aghast at the iPad, so don't take any investment tips from me.

I'm positively giddy about the 6 (not the 6 giant), which is 97% due to my still using my iPhone 4. The size of which is JUST FINE for me, btw. I just want something that works. I do not get this giant cell phone trend.
posted by obfuscation at 2:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel strangely vindicated that phones are getting larger and phablets are getting realer.

I mostly just feel sad with sore achy hands. I just upgraded to a 4.7" Moto X, just before they announced the Moto X2 (or whatever they're calling it) because it was rumored that the X2 would be over 5 inches. A 5 inch screen is just too big for my hands! A 4.7" is too big even!

It's ridiculous that the big manufacturers have started calling anything under 4.5 inches "mini." Am I a dinosaur at age 30 because I still use my phone to occasionally make phone calls?
posted by muddgirl at 2:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Also heavy on the twitter feed "Apple product launches, for Dads who make over 70k a year, by Dads who make over 150k a year."
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on September 9, 2014 [39 favorites]


Note they got on board with NFC tap to pay as well. So between that and the watch, now totally up to date with a bunch of Android hardware that nobody is buying or using! Poor Apple.

I do hope tap to pay takes off since I've been using it recently and it's very convenient... at CVS and Walgreens. Nobody else takes it.
posted by selfnoise at 2:58 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also heavy on the twitter feed "Apple product launches, for Dads who make over 70k a year, by Dads who make over 150k a year."

The U2 giveaway REALLY didn't help with this.
posted by selfnoise at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [20 favorites]


oh man i remember when my parents got me my first ipod and i cried because i felt bad about how much money that god-object must have cost.

now i'm old enough to know more about marketing and planned obsolescence.

.
posted by ghostbikes at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think "embiggened" may have just crossed the threshold into "actual real word."

It's a perfectly cromulant word.
posted by Librarypt at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [36 favorites]


I'm not seeing a huge market for a $350 smart watch either but I'm usually wrong about these things.
posted by octothorpe at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think "embiggened" may have just crossed the threshold into "actual real word."

What a cromulent idea!
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


i like to Watch
posted by stenseng at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I see that watch, with all those little round icons on the face, and I really start to feel my trypophobia acting up. It kinda creeps me out
posted by Auden at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


My version of the fake word was spelled correctly. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


The iPad allows me to navigate the Internet at the bar or in my tub without squinting at a screen or lugging around a heavier laptop. So that's all I use it for.

The watch can ...unlock a hotel door at the W Redwood City? I mean I know it's beyond dorky to take your phone out of your pants to check the time but you don't replace it with something that looks like a cross between a Segway of fashion and a dystopian future tracking device.
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I liked the size of the 4 just fine, too. Then I got a 5s and prefer its size. I suspect when I get my next iPhone I'll prefer the even larger size. Though I'll probably wait to upgrade. LTE was worth the new iPhone, but I'm not similarly tempted to upgrade this time.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


wait a minute i've seen the word phablet twice in this thread, that's not a typo?

-_-
posted by ghostbikes at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Let us not forget the total fail of their livestream today, which started off completely broken, then started working but had a simultaneous Chinese translator louder than the presenters (for a good 30 minutes), then replaced that with a quieter Japanese translater, then settled down into just random connection failures and web page errors.
posted by smackfu at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [23 favorites]


The U2 giveaway REALLY didn't help with this.

I'm telling you, Blackhole Sun is going to replace Hotel California as the song for Sad Dads.
posted by The Whelk at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [39 favorites]


I see that watch, with all those little round icons on the face, and I really start to feel my trypophobia acting up. It kinda creeps me out

Microsoft quickly releases their new flagship product, "A Small Sac Full Of Maggots". Spokesmen are quick to point out that it easily slides onto one's wrist, and that recharging is as easy as submerging it in a small bowl of applesauce at night.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [69 favorites]


I am reminded, of this passage, which I’m sure many of you are also familiar with:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea…

-Douglas Adams
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [61 favorites]


Another site says that the new iphone (or maybe the new ios?) will enable voice calling over wifi. this cannot come soon enough to the rest of the smartphones in the world.
posted by jepler at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]




"Cromulant" is an entirely incromulent spelling.
posted by stenseng at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


wait a minute i've seen the word phablet twice in this thread, that's not a typo?

Isn't it just a portmanteau of PHone and tABLET?
posted by muddgirl at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Funny that they now have a wireless charger for the watch, but nothing like it for the iphone. Seems like a wireless trickle charger would be a sure hit for iphone users.

At any rate the new iphone is mostly nuts and bolts upgrades. It's an amazing device and it's sort of mind-blowing how pedestrian it's become to make these incremental improvements considering how amazing they are. The phase-detection focus pixels in the camera sensor, a few million more transistors in the GPU, etc. It's an amazing device yet the upgrade train is relentless and the only options are to move forward or fail trying. There's no way to really outperform here.

Payments is interesting, mostly because it's just not new at all. It's Google's NFC payment product that's going to succeed simply by the fact that it's Apple putting it out there.

Smartwatches are a big unknown for now - everyone is making them but I'm not sure if anyone actually cares. The jog dial is kind of odd compared to Android Wear devices which are totally minimalist. It reminds me of the old Blackberry jog dials.
posted by GuyZero at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


My 5 fits in shirt pockets pretty much perfectly; if anything, it's slightly too large for some of them. I'll probably skip the 6 and see what happens with the next one, especially since my current has no issues with anything.

Sad about no Mac Mini update. -.- What the heck, Apple. I know that's not worth a keynote for them, but bleh.
posted by curious nu at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


What we really need: bigger pockets.
posted by Fizz at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


I still own, and use my release day purchased Ipod Touch. Still works, still a great thing. Except my phone and Spotify which is a million times better. Pretty outstanding build quality.

I don't want to be too big a jackass, but this is the first time I can remember in recent memory that Apple announced a bunch of new products, and none of them are the best in their class. They've managed to catch up to Android flagship phones, but certainly haven't exceeded them in a game changing way like you'd expect from Apple.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm actually curious what wireless charging protocol the Watch will be using. Is it Powermat? Qi?

...something proprietary?
posted by qcubed at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2014


The Great Metafilter Cromulent/Cromulant War of '14
posted by Librarypt at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sad about no Mac Mini update

Sad? More like FURIOUS

HULK SMASH

HULK DEMAND NEW MAC MINI

But rumours say November apparently.
posted by GuyZero at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Call me when someone makes a Wristlojackimator.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am listening to my iPod right now.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:07 PM on September 9, 2014


Am I a dinosaur at age 30 because I still use my phone to occasionally make phone calls?

Absolutely. That's an absurd idea. Phones are for Minecraft, match 3 games, facebook, snapchat (what ever that is) and, if you must, texting, but only like, to get mom to pick you up after soccer.
posted by bonehead at 3:07 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Go full Pip-Boy or go home.
posted by The Whelk at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2014 [19 favorites]


Isn't it just a portmanteau of PHone and tABLET?

i guess so but isn't pronouncing it kind of going to sound like you're vomiting up colonoscopy prep?

really fabulously?
posted by ghostbikes at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


You know what my favorite feature on apple app? On OSX, if you swipe over to the desktop with the calculator and calendar et al, they have analog clocks. If you watch the second hand closely on those clocks, you can see it snap into place, and then vibrate just a little bit, just like a real physical clock. There is no reason to do that, except it feels better.

I'm not buying an apple watch, but I hope they have that same second-hand vibration.
posted by nushustu at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Meh, I already have a uMaster. This is some uMaestro bullshit.
posted by kmz at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


wait a minute i've seen the word phablet twice in this thread, that's not a typo?

Isn't it just a portmanteau of PHone and tABLET?


I think the words are acutally "phat" because the device is so dope and "oubliette" because of how it looks with the screen off.
posted by Copronymus at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2014 [26 favorites]


Apple have practically given up on pushing the envelope. Why even bother with a wrist device if it doesn't harbor a fully functioning targeting system and track my enemies' vitals? What, like I'm supposed to calculate my own hit percentage?

Plz.
posted by Tevin at 3:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


The MeFi thread anticipating the release of the first iPod makes for some fun reading:

So it's just a nicer looking nomad? This was supposed to be a big deal?
posted by mathowie at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2001 [23 favorites +][!]

It's gonna bomb.. By only supporting Mac computers, they've cut out about 90% of the market. Really, REALLY dumb move.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2001 [10 favorites +][!]

posted by Atom Eyes at 3:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [61 favorites]


Go full Pip-Boy or go home.

I'm a long-time Apple hater, but I could be persuaded to change my mind should the next-gen Apple Watch feature Fast Travel.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


(Has anybody here complained about the _thickness_ of the Watch?!)
posted by kmz at 3:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm actually seriously considering an iPhone 6+ for my primary traveling computer. Bring along a nice bluetooth keyboard (perhaps this little beauty) and as long I have access to my Dropbox and some form of office softwares I'm pretty much set.

Would you find that preferable to an ipad? I use my iPad air as my primary computer. I have it resting in an excellent Belkin Quode Ultimate Keyboard. With that, I can type effortlessly. I can answer emails, text, word process within Pages/Office/WPD to type documents. I work with pdfs. All my case files and exhibits are available through my dropbox or sent through email. Other than that, I use some legal apps like the amazing Transcriptpad to manage depositions, research with WestlawNext and then use some really nice aps for trial presentation like TrialPad that I use at hearings to show exhibits (at trial, we have tech people who do all the fancy lifting). I can do like 95% of the computing I need to do with my job on my iPad. Only when I have to do some heavy lifting on word processing do I use a normal computer. It's really quite nice. Being able to be that mobile on your job is awesome if you can get away with it.
posted by dios at 3:11 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


What we really need: bigger pockets.

I don't know that I want to live in a world where the cargo shorts people were right all along.
posted by Copronymus at 3:11 PM on September 9, 2014 [74 favorites]


I'm kind of bummed about the iPod because I think I'm about to have to buy my mother something to listen to audiobooks (her vision is starting to go) and I was thinking that I could load her iPod up and just give her the play instructions.

I guess it'll have to be an iPad and me (re)teaching her how to use it every couple of weeks.
posted by immlass at 3:12 PM on September 9, 2014


(Has anybody here complained about the _thickness_ of the Watch?!)

No strap, less battery life than the Casio I bought when I was 13. Lame.
posted by Copronymus at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


(Has anybody here complained about the _thickness_ of the Watch?!)

Ah, it looks fine enough. But that rubber strap is tacky. They really should have gone for interchangeable straps, and included a leather option.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2014


Sorry, what I meant was I don't think anybody here or honestly anywhere has complained about the thickness, which just makes this comment shitty strawmanning.
posted by kmz at 3:14 PM on September 9, 2014


The fact that they didn't mention the battery life of the watch at all, apart from a quip about how they made it "easy to charge at night", makes me suspect that it will be the worst product Apple has offered in decades.

If it reliably lasts 24 hours with heavy use, that would usually be good enough for me. Because I already do charge my devices every night. Charging them some nights is harder for me than doing it every night.

I'm kind of bummed about the iPod because I think I'm about to have to buy my mother something to listen to audiobooks (her vision is starting to go) and I was thinking that I could load her iPod up and just give her the play instructions.


Is an iPod nano too hard to use? Or 16 GB is too small?
posted by aubilenon at 3:15 PM on September 9, 2014


Why... why does the watch need a speaker?
posted by halifix at 3:15 PM on September 9, 2014


I'm kind of bummed about the iPod because I think I'm about to have to buy my mother something to listen to audiobooks (her vision is starting to go) and I was thinking that I could load her iPod up and just give her the play instructions.

I guess it'll have to be an iPad and me (re)teaching her how to use it every couple of weeks.


After selling my Macbook Pro recently, I've learned that Apple products are really robust. It's absolutely possible to find an iPod second hand that is just as good as retail.
posted by malapropist at 3:15 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Between the smart watch, the phablet, Apple Pay, and all the iOS 8 features announced at WWDC, Apple is steadily proving itself a world leader in 'doing shit Google did a year ago'.
posted by Itaxpica at 3:15 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]



Isn't it just a portmanteau of PHone and tABLET?


I reject this in the strongest possible terms.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


My friends to whom I complained about wanting a new phone that still fits in my pockets all told me to start wearing JNCOs again.
posted by flaterik at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Why... why does the watch need a speaker?

Siri? It's also a walkie-talkie (or something)? Because you might want an auditory alert in addition to a haptic notification? Mostly because why not.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah, it looks fine enough. But that rubber strap is tacky. They really should have gone for interchangeable straps, and included a leather option.

It looks like there are a few different leather options...
posted by mr_roboto at 3:17 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because Dick Tracy.
posted by kmz at 3:17 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I wish I could have had Apple Watch like 15 years ago when I still wore a watch. Oh well.

Between the smart watch, the phablet, Apple Pay, and all the iOS 8 features announced at WWDC, Apple is steadily proving itself a world leader in 'doing shit Google did a year ago'.

Too early to tell, but Apple also has a history of being a world leader in "doing shit others did first and making said shit a necessity of life."
posted by Huck500 at 3:18 PM on September 9, 2014 [31 favorites]


The first person to start a Kickstarter for a dog collar that holds one of these will probably make a phabillion dollars. Send my dog heartbeats yes please

Of course the dog will also need an iPhone
posted by oulipian at 3:18 PM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


I will pour a little out for the iPod classic---I have one, and I use it every day, because I like having all my music in one place and being able to play whatever I want without worrying about data charges or going underground.

On another note, all the complaints about Apple Pay being just a rebranded Google Payment are missing why it's important. As Apple themselves said, the technology for smartphone payments has been there for a while. The problem was that the user experience sucked. Google is very good at technology. But Apple is several million times better at user experience. Which is why it now stands a chance.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:19 PM on September 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


Just watched the Jony Ive Apple Watch video. Holy shit that looks amazing. I wonder, though, how you keep the wrong people from getting into it. Is it accessed with a fingerprint?
posted by persona au gratin at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2014


Oh man that 19 karat gold plated one is so deep into the dork forest, it's like having a full-sized replica mp3 joke box in your basement den.
posted by The Whelk at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


I recently bought one for my dad, it is exactly what he wanted. This feels a bit like when they retired the Concorde, there will no longer be a way to store 250gb of music on an ios device...the new is somehow less.
posted by pleem at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Despite loving my iPhone 5 and iPad 2 (and not liking the phablet form factor in any way – too big for a phone, too small for a tablet), I strongly hope the Apple Watch fails. Hard. Smartwatches are useless accessories. They don't deserve to catch on, and if Apple's watch fails they'll go away for a while.
posted by graymouser at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2014


But Apple is several million times better at user experience.

Please describe how tapping your iphone on a payment terminal is so much better than tapping your Nexus 4 on a payment terminal. (I may be the only person to have actually bought things at a retail store with Google Wallet).

There will be much analysis of why Apple (may) succeed where Google did not, but this isn't the reason.
posted by GuyZero at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Btw, I haven't worn a watch in 10 years. I may start again with that thing.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's just so ...Skymall-y.
posted by The Whelk at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [30 favorites]


Somewhat mystified by the general negative feedback here regarding the enlarged phones. For years now Apple has caught flack for not having bigger smartphones like the rest of the market. I was abroad and all of my relatives were saying that they wished the iPhone was larger, because the current sizes had small text that caused them eyestrain.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is kind of funny, because I just read Ars' review of the Moto 360 yesterday, in which they specifically praise watch design features that are absent here: just generally looking like "real" watch, leather wrist band, circular form factor and something called "lug to lug distance". I'm surprised to see Apple drop the ball so hard on the non-tech side of design.
posted by indubitable at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are they making any left-handed watches or do you just have to turn it upside down
posted by dng at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


That Nexus 4 snark in full
posted by asok at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I actually really like the way the watch looks. It's much better than I expected. Unfortunately, it doesn't look nearly as good as a real good-looking watch. It's a good-looking computer watch, which, eh.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think "embiggened" may have just crossed the threshold into "actual real word."

According to this listicle...
"Embiggen" first appeared in 1884 when C.A. Ward tried to come up with a suitably ugly new verb to make a point about neologisms. One hundred and twelve years later, it reappeared in "Lisa the Iconoclast" as Springfield's "cromulent" motto: "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."

Unlike cromulent, embiggen has yet to meet the standards of any legitimate dictionaries. That didn't stop a real-life team of physicists from writing that "...the gradient of the Myers potential encouraging an anti-D3 to embiggen is very mild" in their 2007 paper "Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking," published in the journal High Energy Physics.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've had my Pebble smart watch for almost a year and a half now and it does pretty much everything I could ask. Nice monochrome display, decent set of watchfaces/apps, and battery life of about a week. It's good for us weirdos who find it hard to resist finishing out their phones after the buzz of a text or email - just glance at the watch.
posted by exogenous at 3:25 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


To me Smart Watch doesn't become appreciably interesting until everything in my house is connected and my watch becomes my control panel to interact with shit. Pre-heat my oven from the couch, turn down the heat while I'm taking a dump, unlock my door while I'm hiding mountains of laundered cash under my mattress. Etc.

Once I can orchestrate my connected house with my Watch - that'll be cool.
posted by Tevin at 3:25 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


That Nexus 4 snark in full

it's funny and it's true, but on the flip side, oh god the Nexus 4 camera sensor.
posted by GuyZero at 3:26 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Once I can orchestrate my connected house with my Watch - that'll be cool.

Hello, Computer.
posted by GuyZero at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2014


MetaFilter's Hit Parade: posted by entropicamericana at 3:28 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


For me, one of the most important parts is the camera. I replaced my collection of ipod touch, flip-phone and shitty point and shoot with an iphone 4s, and I think I'll probably be upgrading to get the better camera in the iPhone 6.

The 6+ has the optical stabilization, but it's just so damn large -- easier to read books on, but approaching the threshold of being hard to carry.
posted by smidgen at 3:28 PM on September 9, 2014


Watch the video before judging. My first judgment was that it was dorky at best and perhaps dorky and superfluous. Then I saw the video.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:29 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


ghostbikes: "
i guess so but isn't pronouncing it kind of going to sound like you're vomiting up colonoscopy prep?
"

You're thinking of the new Apple HOORJ.
posted by boo_radley at 3:30 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The WhelkOh man that 19 karat gold plated one is so deep into the dork forest, it's like having a full-sized replica mp3 joke box in your basement den.

I know you're snarking, but I'm guessing the gold is targeted at the Asia market just like the gold iPhones.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:31 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, I'll check out the video.

"Download Quicktime to view this video."

Oh yeah, that's why Apple drives me crazy.
posted by Tevin at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2014 [34 favorites]


I'm not a watch guy. I got one for my birthday when I was in grade six, proudly wore it to school and within three days I hated the fucking thing because I checked the time approximately 1000 times a day and school dragged on long enough as it was.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2014


"Cromulant" is an entirely incromulent spelling.

It's discromulent you philistine.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Half to three quarters of my interactions with my phone such as checking calendar reminders, texts, and the time could be done far easier on a watch and I wouldn't have to dig through my pockets. I think these will sell well and within five years a reasonable percentage of people either won't bother with a pocket phone or it will basically just be a "base station" that stays in their bag most of the time.
posted by stp123 at 3:33 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Forget phablet, clearly the big word of the day is "horological"
posted by GuyZero at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


asok: "That Nexus 4 snark in full"

My girlfriend has a Nexus 4 and I love it to pieces. Neither of us play phone games so to us, camera aside, modern phones don't really seem to have moved on since its introduction. The only reason I didn't get one for myself when I upgraded from my 4th gen iPod Touch was that by that time the Moto G was even cheaper and almost identical featurewise.

The decision to go with a 4.7 inch screen on the new iPhones is weird to me, though. I have medium-small hands and find I can still one-hand the Moto G but the 4.5 inch screen requires a different and slightly more precarious balance to do so compared to my old 3.5 inch iPod. Anyone with smaller hands than me would have trouble, I think.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2014


It's a $350 watch which requires the iPhone in close proximity to have its full capabilities. Pass.
posted by smidgen at 3:35 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I know you're snarking, but I'm guessing the gold is targeted at the Asia market just like the gold iPhones.

Huh... the AT&T store seemed to just really want to push it on my (non-Asian) wife. She asked very specifically for a Space Gray 64GB iPhone 5s and the sales guy kept mentioning "oh, we also have the gold one in stock!" We couldn't figure it out... is a gold phone supposed to be preferred by women or something?
posted by kmz at 3:37 PM on September 9, 2014


Great. Yet another plasticky piece of shit thing that I'll have to feel smug about not buying initially so that I can feel like an asshole when I buy one later.

In all honesty though, people should know by now that you never, ever, ever buy first generation hardware. Wait six months for the next Apple Watch, when it's five times as good.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:37 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


is a gold phone supposed to be preferred by women or something?

No, they have excess stock because no one in North America buys them. Sales people pushing stuff has nothing to do with the buyer and everything to do with what they need to move out.
posted by GuyZero at 3:39 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


My most recent iPod is at least 9 years old and has been misbehaving for the last few weeks. Hopefully the battery replacement kit I ordered yesterday will do the trick, as $15 is a lot cheaper than a new device.

I still like the clickwheel over tapping, is that so wrong?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:39 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Smidgen's attitude reminds me about when people snarked about the iPad Scrabble app that used iPhones as tile racks. Back then it seemed ridiculous, but now it seems slightly less ridiculous.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:40 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


So what am I supposed to do when my iPhone 4 eventually dies and I want to replace it with something that will fit in my pocket and is, you know, the size of a phone and not the size of my face?
posted by pemberkins at 3:41 PM on September 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


It's absolutely possible to find an iPod second hand that is just as good as retail.

True! I may go somewhere like Small Dog and see what I can do for her as an early holiday present. I'll never get her to buy herself something from Apple that's not from the Apple Store, though.
posted by immlass at 3:41 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone with smaller hands than me would have trouble, I think.

Yeah, this is a big reason (unintentional lols) why I can't get excited about new hugephones. An expensive portable device that I can't hold comfortably/easily in one hand is pretty much useless to me.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:42 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like the look of the iPhone 6 family - I'm firmly in the Android camp, and won't be buying one, but it's good to see Apple shucking at least some of its harmful dogma. It makes some lovely devices (although the nearly $900 tag for the 128 GB version of the big one is... eeeesh. A lot. For a phone. )

The watch is harder to call. It will sell in large numbers, because Apple has a large cohort of fans who can drop that sort of money without worrying about it, but who do worry about not keeping up. Whether it has a valid life outside status symbolhood, I dunno - the company hasn't said very much about it yet. The fact it won't be on sale until after Christmas either means it's not finished or they can't make them in decent numbers yet, or that it's very V 1.0 and they don't want it out there in the hands of non-fans. I don't believe that Apple has ever pre-announced a major new product category like this, with no firm launch date.

It has paradoxes. If it is really useful, I won't want it to stop working... but if it needs its own charging lead/charger, and if the battery life is as shit as I expect, then it's a burden and a half. I can manage both of my phones to survive 48+ hours away from home, and my 7" Asus tablet (which cost me <$120 new) lives in my bag for a week between feeds even if I can't find a universal charger out there. but that probably won't be true for this thing.

It has nice aspects. I don't think it adds much to life. I wanted an iPod from the day it appeared: there was nothing like it. (It cost too much, did too little and was Mac-bound, so I couldn't possibly afford one, but by God I wanted one.) Ditto the iPhone (which also cost too much, was Mac-mound, and clearly needed to get decent data connectivity). I didn't much go for the iPad, or indeed any tablet that size, and even now I don't use my Nexus 10 nearly as much as my 7" tablets... but I really can't grok the smartwatch concept as it stands.

Plus, I can't look at the Apple Watch, lovely as it is, and not think "That's a year's income for a large slice of the planet" and, for whatever weird internal self-justification failures I have, it feels too decadent for comfort.
posted by Devonian at 3:43 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


ArmyOfKittens: I as wondering about that, too. They have a video of someone picking them up, but the hands in the video aren't particularly small.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:43 PM on September 9, 2014


How small are these tiny hands that can't hold the new iPhone? How do these hands hold a book?
posted by bhnyc at 3:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


So you need a huge hand to hold the new phones, and tiny little nimble fingers to use the watch...
posted by dng at 3:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The fact it won't be on sale until after Christmas either means it's not finished or they can't make them in decent numbers yet, or that it's very V 1.0 and they don't want it out there in the hands of non-fans. I don't believe that Apple has ever pre-announced a major new product category like this, with no firm launch date.

Yeah, this struck me too. I don't think they've done anything like this in the modern (post return-of-Jobs) era. Before the iPhone, they wouldn't even announce without having it for sale the same day.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:47 PM on September 9, 2014


Look these hands are small I know but they are not yours they are her own.
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [21 favorites]


poffin boffin: “Yeah, this is a big reason (unintentional lols) why I can't get excited about new hugephones. An expensive portable device that I can't hold comfortably/easily in one hand is pretty much useless to me.”

Well, you don't have to worry. According to the counter-intuitive law of weird technology sizes, you only have to wait two or three years until the Apple Watch gradually grows to reach the size of the iPhone 4.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


The Apple Watch's zirconia back has four sapphire lenses, which can detect your pulse, sweat levels, sleep patterns, skin color, favorite color, blood type, astrological sign, distance from the sun, mother's maiden name, current hit points, and whether you are lying.
posted by oulipian at 3:49 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


How small are these tiny hands that can't hold the new iPhone? How do these hands hold a book?

It's not an issue of holding, really, it's an issue of using. Didn't Apple tout the fact that their phone screen size was designed to be used one-handed?

I have a 4.7 inch phone and when I'm holding it with one hand and reaching across to touch something on the opposite side of the screen from my thumb, my fleshy thumb pad bit presses on the screen!

When I hold my husband's 5 inch Nexus phone and try to make a phone call, the phone is too large to rest in my palm and I have to grip it sideways like a banana. It gives me hand cramps.

I don't usually hold a book up to the side of my face.
posted by muddgirl at 3:49 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


How do these hands hold a book?

my book servants hold them for me and read aloud in mellifluous RP tones
posted by poffin boffin at 3:49 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


bhnyc: “How small are these tiny hands that can't hold the new iPhone? How do these hands hold a book?”

I am not a tiny person. My hands are not tiny, either. When I play piano, I can stretch a full octave with both hands. But even with my current iPhone 5, it's a crazy stretch to tap my thumb on the top corner of the screen while holding the phone in my hand. I guess Apple has wholly given up on their earlier notion that this was an important thing for users to be able to do – because of market demand, granted.

I guess people just don't use their phone with one hand anymore.
posted by koeselitz at 3:50 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Look these hands are small I know but they are not yours they are her own

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
posted by chavenet at 3:51 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]



Yeah, this struck me too. I don't think they've done anything like this in the modern (post return-of-Jobs) era. Before the iPhone, they wouldn't even announce without having it for sale the same day.


Competitors are in the market right now and Apple needs to take the wind out of their sa[il|le]s.

I guess people just don't use their phone with one hand anymore.

This. The fixation on one-handed phone usage is simply not universal. So many petite Korean women seem to be carrying around Samsung phones that I, a basketball-palming white guy, find unbearably huge.
posted by GuyZero at 3:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The fact it won't be on sale until after Christmas either means it's not finished or they can't make them in decent numbers yet, or that it's very V 1.0 and they don't want it out there in the hands of non-fans. I don't believe that Apple has ever pre-announced a major new product category like this, with no firm launch date.

Yeah, this struck me too. I don't think they've done anything like this in the modern (post return-of-Jobs) era.

Jesus Christ. Would it kill you guys to Google it?

iPad: Announced January 27, 2010; released April 3, 2010
iPhone: Announced January 9, 2007; released June 29, 2007

It's because they know the regulatory agencies and overseas factories would leak it before they did.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [23 favorites]


Now that several hours have passed, it is important for everyone to recognize that my technology choices are superior to yours. This means that I am a superior person, and you should feel bad about yourselves.

Additionally, your corporate brand choices are inferior to mine -- my choices are fine & estimable ones, while yours are vile, base, and probably bad for the planet. Maybe even racist, and whatever opinions you may have on technology brand strategies are filthy mongrel opinions fit only for swine.
posted by aramaic at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [28 favorites]


(my twitter feed was equal "ugh that watch is hideous who would wear that" and " UGH who would wear a WATCH")

I'm also old, as evidenced by the fact that I wear a watch.


wait why did no one tell me people don't wear watches anymore? I love watches. They're one of the only jewelry-type things dudes can wear and not look like they're going to see DJ Paulie D on the Jersey Shore.

I also think it looks kinda nice, but probably not something I'd wear. Also I don't think I'm someone that needs a datathingy watch; I mean if you have to have the phone right there anyway why not just use that? I do like the simplicity of it, and the curved glass on the face sorta reminds me of those old Soviet watches. Only rectangular.
posted by Hoopo at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


You work for Super Evil Megacorp, don't you?
posted by Apocryphon at 3:55 PM on September 9, 2014


I would like an Apple Dog-Pig.
posted by smidgen at 3:55 PM on September 9, 2014


entropicamericana: “Jesus Christ. Would it kill you guys to Google it?”

Go easy, dude. I think people are pretty positive. Honestly, if people say "why isn't it available now?" I would bet that it's often because they'd rather actually be able to have it now. Which is kind of understandable – it is pretty cool.
posted by koeselitz at 3:56 PM on September 9, 2014


4.7 inches seems like just the right size for a phone to me. I'm on my third phone at that size and it seems like the best compromise of portability and readability.
posted by octothorpe at 3:56 PM on September 9, 2014


They're one of the only jewelry-type things dudes can wear and not look like they're going to see DJ Paulie D on the Jersey Shore.

I look forward to the 70s revival Apple iMedallion which deletes any songs you upload that are not by the Salsoul Orchestra
posted by poffin boffin at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


iPad: Announced January 27, 2010; released April 3, 2010
iPhone: Announced January 9, 2007; released June 29, 2007


Yeah, but for both of those, they had ship dates at the product announcement. No date definite on the watch.

That's what I meant.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2014


wait why did no one tell me people don't wear watches anymore? I love watches. They're one of the only jewelry-type things dudes can wear and not look like they're going to see DJ Paulie D on the Jersey Shore.

I know right, I have to take it off to draw but I feel somewhat naked without one.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, guys, Dick Tracy just called me on my new two-way wrist radio and said if enough people on MetaFilter feel the need to immediately mock a new Apple product, it is an indicator that you should invest very heavily in that technology.
posted by maxsparber at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I need to start stockpiling 160gb ipods and chargers so that I can grow old with them. I love that device.
posted by GrapeApiary at 4:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


See, we were right when the ipod came out and we said it was doomed.
posted by ckape at 4:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [33 favorites]


I think it's fun, but not $350 fun. I'll wait for the  Watch Dollar Store.
posted by smidgen at 4:04 PM on September 9, 2014


If it reliably lasts 24 hours with heavy use, that would usually be good enough for me.

I would also be a miracle. No current smartwatch in this display category (that is, the ones that use some form of LED rather than e-ink) has that kind of battery life. Given the lack of announcement it's impossible to know, but I would bet this is Apple's most serious current challenge. The reviews say that the Moto 360 -- the current "must have" android wear watch -- gets less than 12 hours with relatively light use. If Apple could consistently get a full day, my guess is we would have heard about it. But it's just a guess.
posted by The Bellman at 4:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


> This feels a bit like when they retired the Concorde, there will no longer be a way to store 250gb of music on an ios device...the new is somehow less.

The 5th and 6th generation iPods are upgradable and hackable in various interesting ways. I have a 30 gb 5th gen that I've upgraded with a 124gb SSD and it dual-boots into iPod OS or RockBox. Works great, although it's a pain in the ass to scroll through three or four hundred band names to find the one I want to play (RockBox should make this easier but... it doesn't). As long as the supply of batteries, displays and logic boards holds out, I think they'll be a hobbyist resource for some time to come.
posted by ardgedee at 4:07 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm curious how many of the watch's features work when the phone is not near. I know it needs the phone for GPS, but does it hit WiFi networks directly? People can laugh, but my gym-going wife says if she can have a device on her wrist that can stream Spotify (maybe not possible with this product), do all the biometric/workout stuff, and then also get texts, that's worth infinite money. And a lot of people go to gyms.

The Apple Pay thing I think is going to mainstream this sort of tech in the US especially. A guy I work with in tech doesn't get it ("how hard is it to pull out a credit card?") but he's never had a big handbag in one hand and like, a baby or something in the other. You're at the coffee place texting while they make the latte. Drink ready, point phone at scanner, back to whatever. I'm betting that in 10 years there will be exactly zero plastic credit cards being issued. Having them is going to be a big I'M OLD WHY WOULD YOU TEXT WHEN THERE'S EMAIL sign on you.*

* I said that about 4 years ago having never sent a text despite being a programmer. Ok I get it now.
posted by freecellwizard at 4:08 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


My guess is that it's still in development and they aren't satisfied with the current battery life, and they're working like hell to get it long enough that they can announce without feeling like jerks.

Whether they will succeed, I don't know. This could also be a big part of why they don't have a firm date.
posted by aubilenon at 4:09 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The reviews say that the Moto 360 -- the current "must have" android wear watch -- gets less than 12 hours [...]
(Ars technica) Motorola totally dropped the ball when it comes to the internal components. Somehow, it managed to dig up a batch of crusty old OMAP 3 SoCs for its flagship watch. The 2010-era processor is old, slow, inefficient, and power hungry.
That might be why..
posted by smidgen at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2014


Apparently the only watches that the press could touch were just running a demo loop, and weren't interactive. So that's a sign of how finished the OS is.

I don't think they've done anything like this in the modern (post return-of-Jobs) era.

The most recent example was the Mac Pro last year. Previewed at WWDC in June 2013, for sale in December 2013.
posted by smackfu at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


> If Apple could consistently get a full day, my guess is we would have heard about it. But it's just a guess.

I would bet Apple is aiming for 12-16 hours of battery life on a charge, just because one of their highly-touted features is monitoring your physical activity through an entire day. Can't do that if you have to take it off at dinner time to recharge.

And yeah, they didn't announce battery life most likely because they don't know what the shipping product will be capable of yet. The product's at least six months away, my guess. Now that they obviously have the UI, core functionality, design and feature set frozen, they have a hell of a lot of time -- by these standards -- to work on issues like battery life.
posted by ardgedee at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2014


I don't see the watch thing as being subject to the usual Apple vs Android sniping. I like the physical design of the Moto 360, but Android Wear seems underbaked and the battery life is disappointing. Meanwhile, the physical design of the Apple Watch leaves me cold, but I'm more confident in its knob-thing UI and functionality. I suspect its battery will be similarly lackluster.

They both look very promising. I think Apple and Google have raced each other into rushing this stuff out a good iteration or two before their prime. It'll be interesting to see who nails the second generation.
posted by gilrain at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 160GB Classic iPods on Amazon are disappearing fast...
posted by suelac at 4:13 PM on September 9, 2014


When I was a kid, I got a watch with a face that glowed in the dark. I bet that brought me more joy than today's kids will feel from every feature on this watch.
posted by davebush at 4:13 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Indiglo forever, davebush.
posted by gilrain at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I bet that brought me more joy than today's kids will feel from every feature on this watch.

But at least it will get them off your lawn.
posted by The Bellman at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Well fuck, RIP iPod Classic.

No way I'm drinking the tall glass of cold piss that is iTunes Match again. Anybody have a Fiio X5 as their go to high capacity music player? Any good yet?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


kmz : Because Dick Tracy.

Right there with you. My first thoughts were: it's too thick, it's too expensive, it has a few clever wiz-bang features that will probably be wholly underrated like the tap thing, but then I read about the walkie-talkie function and I thought "Okay, now we're talking. That's some Dick Tracy shit right there."

I'll wait a couple of generations until it's half the thickness and comes with a forward facing camera so my friends and I can facetime and play like we live in a weird sci-fi future where such things are possible.
posted by quin at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure they must have put the walkie-talkie in just to allude to Dick Tracy.
posted by smidgen at 4:16 PM on September 9, 2014


Back in a while. Getting a box of Pop Tarts to see if an iPhone 6+ will fit in my pocket.
posted by ardgedee at 4:18 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


I thought that once the watch is free of the iphone it'll be really interesting. Maybe 2nd or 3rd generation. I loved the idea of the haptic touch notification
posted by dhruva at 4:18 PM on September 9, 2014


When I was a kid, I got a watch with a face that glowed in the dark

I remember when Indiglo first came out, thinking it was the coolest thing ever, until I saw the reverse Indiglo where only the numbers glowed and realized that this, was in fact, the coolest thing of all time.
posted by quin at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


it's a pain in the ass to scroll through three or four hundred band names to find the one I want to play (RockBox should make this easier but... it doesn't)

Also iTunes should find a way to deal with "Various Artists" and songs names that include a suffix of "feat. so-and-so-guest-appearance" because ugh
posted by Hoopo at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Back in a while. Getting a box of Pop Tarts to see if an iPhone 6+ will fit in my pocket.

No sprinkles. Less filling than a PopTart. Lame.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [14 favorites]


Hoopo: Also iTunes should find a way to deal with "Various Artists" and songs names that include a suffix of "feat. so-and-so-guest-appearance" because ugh


They already do. It's called the Album Artist field.

Artist field: Band (Feat. That Guy)
Album Artist field: Band
posted by SansPoint at 4:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Up until this morning I was still hoping the watch was a fake-out to distract Samsung while they secretly worked on something awesome.

I wouldn't mind a $30 version that tells the time, buzzes when I have a text message on my phone, and has a button that will make my phone start beeping when I've misplaced it. But this thing is too expensive and doesn't seem that useful when I already have a smartphone. Maybe it will be better next year. Or maybe this will be like last year when Apple pundits were talking about the 5C being the fashionable new "mainstream" phone.
posted by Gary at 4:24 PM on September 9, 2014


So, uh, how is the Apple Watch different from other smart watches, like the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Gizmo Dealy Whozit?

Is it just the "digital crown"? 'Cause, like, Hey, you know that little thing on the side of analog watches that is a pain in the ass to fiddle with and always jabs into your wrist? We made it digital is not a particularly strong pitch.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:24 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ah, it looks fine enough. But that rubber strap is tacky. They really should have gone for interchangeable straps, and included a leather option.

It looks like there are a few different leather options..


Ah, so there are. From the pictures in the FPP link, it didn't look like the strap was replaceable, but it seems that they are.

That's good. I'm sure it will lead to a flourishing business in 3rd party straps.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:25 PM on September 9, 2014


The thing about the gap between the announcement and the ship date is unique to the Apple Watch for three reasons - first (as said) there is no ship date yet. Then there's the presence of high profile competition of similar functionality. Finally, it brackets the major sales period of the year.

It's even odder because they've clearly done all the serious mechanical engineering and productisation. That's not a prototype, and it won't have complex subassemblies. FCC approval for something with such low power and (AFAWK) just Bluetooth RF, is not going to be any sort of a hurdle. This should be a product ready to ship with its iPhone pals.

There is a story here. It may be component supply issues, it may be unresolved software matters, it may be battery life (which could also be unresolved software). There could even be some legal shit - hey, these days, you try farting in binary without a lawyer present.
posted by Devonian at 4:26 PM on September 9, 2014


Or maybe this will be like last year when Apple pundits were talking about the 5C being the fashionable new "mainstream" phone.

The 5C actually outsold every Android flagship in Q4 2013.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


> Also iTunes should find a way to deal with "Various Artists" and songs names that include a suffix of "feat. so-and-so-guest-appearance" because ugh

You can do this. Easily.

View -> Column Browser -> Use Album Artists ✓

In the Info tab for each album (you can bulk-edit by selecting all the tracks in an album), enter the artist name you want to sort by under Album Artist. Then for each individual track you can edit with appropriate credits.

So in my library, for the album Home Grown! Vol. 2, the whole album is sorted as "The Roots" even though there are three tracks with featured artist credits. So every track on the album has the Album Artist tag "The Roots", even though, eg, track 12, "Adrenaline", has the Artist tag "The Roots Feat. Dice Raw".

This requires editing by hand because nobody -- including CDDB/MusicBranez, FreeDB, and even the iTunes Store itself -- tags files this way. But it works great, and I don't see any reason for not doing it.

I tagged all >1800 albums on my music server this way. And, y'know, music just plain doesn't get lost this way. It works. Any track that fell through the cracks and lacks an Album Artist tag falls back on the Artist tag when sorting, so there's no limbo of lost songs.
posted by ardgedee at 4:33 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The problem that Google had with NFC payment wasn't software or hardware - it was that the largest cell phone carrier in the US - Verizon - locked NFC payment to Isis, oops, sorry, Softcard until recently. I use Wallet NFC regularly at the new supermarket here, and it works wonderfully.

(My thought on the Softcard rebranding was "financial terrorists appalled at inadvertent association with real terrorists.")
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:37 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


The design of the new iPhone is sub-par, compared with the beautiful solid slab of the 4 which was so nicely refined into the minimalist 5. Apple have thrown all that goodness away for something bland and boring (those lines around the top and bottom of the back are particularly nasty). The curve at the edges of the glass is nice, but overall it's not a cool, beautiful thing, not a thing that a designy person is going to get excited about.
The watch, on the other hand, actually looks gorgeous.
posted by Flashman at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2014


Meh, the iphone 6 is just a shrunken, slightly wider version of the tall iphone 5S. No big deal.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Big is the new small.
posted by dr_dank at 4:40 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The 5C actually outsold every Android flagship in Q4 2013.

Well, this sort of presupposes equal availability. HTC doesn't have the manufacturing power that Samsung does and Samsung fragments its product line by having a bajillion different models.

Not that that makes them good, but it just skews ranking phone goodness by single-SKU sales figures.
posted by GuyZero at 4:41 PM on September 9, 2014


> The design of the new iPhone is sub-par, compared with the beautiful solid slab of the 4 which was so nicely refined into the minimalist 5.
> Meh, the iphone 6 is just a shrunken, slightly wider version of the tall iphone 5S. No big deal.

I wonder if different parts of the country were shown different phones.
posted by ardgedee at 4:42 PM on September 9, 2014


The 5C actually outsold every Android flagship in Q4 2013.

Well yeah, it's still an iPhone and it was pretty cheap (it was quickly $50 on contract at quite a few stores near me). But it didn't get an update and is currently only available in the 8GB model.

I was mostly referring to all the articles and podcasts lauding it as the new "mainstream". But that might just be me getting too caught up in the Apple echo chamber.
posted by Gary at 4:43 PM on September 9, 2014


I have a iPod 3 which still works fine and looks all MILFy. So long iPods!
posted by shothotbot at 4:44 PM on September 9, 2014


The watch, on the other hand, actually looks gorgeous.

How can you say the big huge yet thin phone with curved edges is not cool or beautiful, but the gigantic watch that is really thick and ballooney with REALLY curved edges and an ugly strap is gorgeous?
posted by ReeMonster at 4:45 PM on September 9, 2014


There are multiple straps. And multiple watch sizes, too.
posted by persona au gratin at 4:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Question for the hive, would it be insane to grab a 160gb Classic now, before they disappear? I just want to have an insane amount of music to feed into the car. iPad now holds 27gb but there's graphic novels, podcasts, etc and I'm talking a LOT of music.
posted by Ber at 4:47 PM on September 9, 2014


Either way it's still a thick piece on your wrist.
posted by ReeMonster at 4:48 PM on September 9, 2014


Question for the hive, would it be insane to grab a 160gb Classic now, before they disappear?

Hell, buy two!
posted by ReeMonster at 4:49 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Anybody have a Fiio X5 as their go to high capacity music player?

My approach is to give up on having all my music in my pocket (I'm at > 160 GB anyway) and just keep a few dozen gigs on my phone, which I cycle out every few months.

I haven't seen a good mobile UI in which > 1000 artists is manageable anyway.
posted by aubilenon at 4:50 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm also not seeing the gorgeous in that watch.
posted by davebush at 4:52 PM on September 9, 2014


As the owner of rather large hands, as well as eyes that aren't getting any younger, I welcome the larger iPhone 6. But not the 6+. That shit's crazy.

And I think I'll take a wait-and-see on the watch for now. Not sure what to make of it yet.
posted by spilon at 4:53 PM on September 9, 2014


How can you say the big huge yet thin phone with curved edges is not cool or beautiful, but the gigantic watch that is really thick and ballooney with REALLY curved edges and an ugly strap is gorgeous?

It just .... is. The watch is nicely resolved, well-proportioned, and looks like a big piece of candy.

(not saying I'd want to wear one, but I'm sure plenty of people will)
posted by Flashman at 4:54 PM on September 9, 2014


From Mashable:

Based on Chief Executive Tim Cook's comments during the unveiling of the Apple Watch, the battery lasts for one day, although specifics haven't been made available yet.

Um, seriously? This is technological advancement? A watch that you have to power-up every fucking day?!

No. I'm out. This is the Nintendo Virtual Boy of watches.
posted by Wordshore at 4:55 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


the battery lasts for one day, although specifics haven't been made available yet.
Maybe they could get an auto-wind thing like the fancy Swiss watches. HTH.
posted by shothotbot at 4:56 PM on September 9, 2014


Yeah but it's not just a watch
posted by dhruva at 4:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Um, seriously? This is technological advancement? A watch that you have to power-up every fucking day?!

It's not a watch, it's a wearable computer. That's the key point, much like how the iPhone isn't just a phone. It's a computer that rests on your skin, which allows for all sorts things we're just starting to get a grasp on.

If you're focusing on the watch aspect, you're missing a lot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


dhruva: "Yeah but it's not just a watch"

It's also a super-hard piece of crystal glass inexplicably taped to your wrist for you to attack your enemies with.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Anybody know what the nexus snark is talking about to when it mentions "virtual buttons"?
posted by Wood at 5:01 PM on September 9, 2014


It's not a watch, it's a wearable computer. T

Or rather It's Google Glass done better and over time I suspect, done right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Wood: "Anybody know what the nexus snark is talking about to when it mentions "virtual buttons"?"

The three or more buttons at the bottom of the screen on Android, I would assume: back, home, and task switch, by default.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:04 PM on September 9, 2014


Question for the hive, would it be insane to grab a 160gb Classic now, before they disappear? I just want to have an insane amount of music to feed into the car. iPad now holds 27gb but there's graphic novels, podcasts, etc and I'm talking a LOT of music.

Flash-based MP3 players have basically entirely supplanted the iPod by this point. You can get a 128GB MicroSD card for $100 or a pair of 64GB ones for $60, and just stick it in whatever (I like the Sansa Clip series myself). More portable and easier to manage the contents too, unless you really want that iTunes experience.
posted by neckro23 at 5:04 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Um, seriously? This is technological advancement? A watch that you have to power-up every fucking day?!

Not trying to be a fanboy here, but there's only so much battery you can fit in the limited amount of internal space. Plus the watch has an always-on connection to your phone and an always-on display. I'm honestly surprised its battery life is as good as it is.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:05 PM on September 9, 2014


If you're focusing on the watch aspect, you're missing a lot.

If you're focusing on the watch so you forget to give it its daily recharge, you're staring at a blank screen. On your wrist.

Emperor's new clothes.
posted by Wordshore at 5:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time understanding how this device is supposed to be The Next Big Thing, and I'm a little worried that means I've officially crossed into old-person-who-can't-program-the-VCR territory.
posted by usonian at 5:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm a little worried that means I've officially crossed into old-person-who-can't-program-the-VCR territory.

Try to remember how excited you got about the Newton.
posted by GuyZero at 5:07 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


I really want to try a bigger and biggest iphone before buying, but I fear the supplies will be super short and if I waited until they had demos in the store it'll be weeks/months of backordering to get one.
posted by mathowie at 5:14 PM on September 9, 2014


I think once they start the relentless miniaturisation of the watch in future iterations, the true potential will become more and more apparent. They might cut the dependence on the iphone for gps/wifi (not sure if this is even possible) and this combined with a ton of 3rd party ideas will change things a lot.
posted by dhruva at 5:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


They might cut the dependence on the iphone for gps/wifi

I would LOVE to be able to go for a run without my phone on me, using the watch to measure distance and bluetooth music to my headphones, but it sounds like the first version of the watch will require a phone around.
posted by mathowie at 5:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Good watch discussion from Business of Fashion
posted by shothotbot at 5:17 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm having a hard time understanding how this device is supposed to be The Next Big Thing

When the iPad came out I was like - a bigger iPhone, who cares? But now I love my mini to death. On the other hand I have a watch I really love wearing so we will see what apps come out which really make sense on my wrist as opposed to in my pocket.
posted by shothotbot at 5:19 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would LOVE to be able to go for a run without my phone on me, using the watch to measure distance and bluetooth music to my headphones, but it sounds like the first version of the watch will require a phone around.

Exactly. It'll take a few years, but eventually, you won't need the phone, it'll all be on your wrist. Wonder where the camera will go then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 PM on September 9, 2014


The tip of the digital crown will be the camera lens - to take a photo you'll point out your arm at your subject, and make a fist. Like a giant anime robot squeezing off a laser blast.
posted by Ryvar at 5:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Wonder Woman bullet blocking photography.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, since a lot was made of watch's ability to record one's activity through the day, I'm wondering how if it'll record sexual activity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on September 9, 2014


Also, since a lot was made of watch's ability to record one's activity through the day, I'm wondering how if it'll record sexual activity.

Which will produce many interesting AskMe questions, heh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on September 9, 2014


I would LOVE to be able to go for a run without my phone on me, using the watch to measure distance and bluetooth music to my headphones, but it sounds like the first version of the watch will require a phone around.

Meh, I got one of those neoprene armbands and it works pretty well. Strava tracks me, I get my music on bluetooth headphones and it's not terribly awkward.

There are actual smartphones that are watch-sized but they're not particularly easy to use. There is apparently an Android Wear model that will ship with its own GPS, but battery, size, etc.

If Garmin would just stick an MP3 player in their existing humungo watches they'd probaby have a hit on their hands (wrists I guess).
posted by GuyZero at 5:25 PM on September 9, 2014


No, this is just ... no.

There will be people at meetings, on planes, in cars, at bbqs, at funerals, during exercise, during eating, during bathing, in the library, in the bookstore, in the courtroom and in the classroom, during hiking, during walking to the cornershop, while posting on Metafilter, while commenting on MetaFilter, while modding your MetaFilter comments, on the beach, on the moor, on the mountain and on the moon, while dating and while fucking lovemaking, interrupting and disrupting the flow of life and the people around them by asking and demanding to recharge their watch as it's that time of the day again and their screen has just gone blank.

If this makes me old, then I am old and I now stand on the older side of the divide that marks the innocent enthusiasm of youth from the treachery of the experienced. Time to finish off and post that FPP about fucking sundials, because when the hipsters are scrabbling around for their daily flow of electrons, I'll be pointing at the shadow across the line as they anxiously stroke their manicured hair and saying "Two thirty in the afternoon and it didn't cost me several hundred dollars and a daily fucking recharge to see that".

The world is mad.

And I will take all of you bearded unicycling tweed-camouflaged Portland wanabees on.

Because when you have to stop and recharge your fucking watch: that is when I will strike.

And win.
posted by Wordshore at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2014 [23 favorites]


my gym-going wife says if she can have a device on her wrist that can stream Spotify (maybe not possible with this product), do all the biometric/workout stuff, and then also get texts, that's worth infinite money.

Getting texts would be right out... there's no wireless radio in there, I'm pretty sure.

If somebody ever actually makes one with a wireless radio _and_ decent battery life, then we're talking.
posted by kmz at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2014


Also, since a lot was made of watch's ability to record one's activity through the day, I'm wondering how if it'll record sexual activity.

Fitbit already does so. Fitbit users are unwittingly sharing details of their sex lives with the world
posted by GuyZero at 5:28 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can't you just wind it?
posted by mazola at 5:29 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


there's no wireless radio in there, I'm pretty sure.

There's clearly SOME radio, just a low-power one. Mostly likely Bluetooth or Bluetooth low energy (which are completely and utterly different things) but probably not Wifi and definitely not 3G or LTE.
posted by GuyZero at 5:30 PM on September 9, 2014


Also, the ability to draw on the watch to send personal messages, along with it being able to give vibrations will be entertaining and personable. Literal pokes!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 PM on September 9, 2014


It texts. It does pretty much all an iPhone does, it looks like.

Watch the video narrated by Jony Ive. It's instructive in a Don Draper sort of way.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:35 PM on September 9, 2014


Has anyone seen a convincing argument for use-cases for smartwatches in general? What makes this seem different than the iPod/iphone/ipad announcements is that those were not clearly differentiated from competitors.

I obviously have no idea what it's like to use one, but I truly can't see the problem it solves. Sure, it'll make reading texts faster, but pulling my phone from my pocket was never a real issue for me. It will obviously be a better UI/form factor as a fitness tracker, but that just seems.... underwhelming?

What's the killer app here? iPods had entire libraries. iPhones had better email/web browsing/media than other phones. iPads had a more pleasant mobile computing experience.

Is there really all that much to what amounts to a tiny second screen that tracks vital signs?
posted by graphnerd at 5:36 PM on September 9, 2014


How about using these cool sounding ant sized radio chips.
posted by shothotbot at 5:38 PM on September 9, 2014


Also, since a lot was made of watch's ability to record one's activity through the day, I'm wondering how if it'll record sexual activity.

PA explored a similar idea with the Microsoft Kinect :)
posted by anonymisc at 5:38 PM on September 9, 2014


> I truly can't see the problem it solves

The new problem it solves is all-day-long biometrics gathering on a general-purpose device instead of a single-purpose device like the fitbit.

The new problem it creates is the lack of a high-power radio making it require a paired phone to be truly general-purpose.
posted by Phssthpok at 5:40 PM on September 9, 2014


What's the killer app here?

What's the killer app of Facebook?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:42 PM on September 9, 2014


Advertising.
posted by spitbull at 5:43 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is there really all that much to what amounts to a tiny second screen that tracks vital signs?

Unlike the ipods/iphones/ipads, this device advertises your iBrand iMarker even when you're not using it - it's visible on your wrist rather than invisible in your pocket.
Conspicuous, but not blatant.
At least, not as blatant as Google Glass.
posted by anonymisc at 5:44 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


wait why did no one tell me people don't wear watches anymore?

????

I think it's been going on at least a decade wherein all sorts of random people ask me, a complete stranger, what time it is because I am the only person in a five-mile radius wearing an actual watch and so can actually tell them the time without having to dig through pockets or bags for my phone.

Nobody had to tell me people don't wear watches, I just had to go though life wearing a watch and somehow, slowly but surely, I became TimeKeeper To The World.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:44 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


The new problem it creates...

The new problem it creates is being contractually obliged to wear it by your employer, so they can automatically check when you are working/typing like the chained monkey to a typewriter or keyboard that you eventually realise you are.

This completes the circle.
posted by Wordshore at 5:46 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


When you're using it with walking directions, it vibrates on the left or on the right to tell you when and which way to turn. It's a watch that tells you when and what your next meeting is. I'm sold.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


A 128gb iphone 6+ off contract costs $50 more than a 11" ipad air.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2014


Meanwhile, over in my idealized parallel universe, the entire event consisted of a guy walking out on stage and saying, "We fixed iTunes; album art can be big, if you want."

Everyone cheers. "Apple has done it again," say the pundits.
posted by compartment at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


The new problem it creates is being contractually obliged to wear it by your employer, so they can automatically check when you are working/typing like the chained monkey to a typewriter or keyboard that you eventually realise you are.

Your company-managed computer already knows when it's being typed on, without any expensive peripherals. It also knows what program you're using. It is possible for your employee to monitor this if they choose to do so.
posted by aubilenon at 5:55 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


16gb is still the base size? REALLY?

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that 64gb is only one price bump up now... But the new shiny model of phone should not come with 16g on the base model. The 16gb iOS devices only have like, 11gb free out of the box now or less before you even install any apps or load anything on. It's just a pathetic amount of space. Even my mom, who basically uses her phone to text me memes and play pandora pretty much 100% filled hers.

32gb is a perfectly comfortable size. You can load a decent amount of music, maybe a few tv episodes, plenty of apps, and still have space for a big photo library with some growing room. 16 fills up like 8 did in the old days.

It also feels almost insulting on a $300 on contract phone. And almost un-apple like to have it not be a linear doubling. 16>32>64 made logical sense. 16>64>128 is just weird. 32-64-128 would have flowed perfectly.

It's so weird even, that several major tech sites actually listed the 6+ as coming with 32 or 64gb by default(bgr was one, I think anand also. They may have silently corrected this by now though).

I would have been instantly sold on the big one if it also came with the extra space for the increased price. As it is, I feel like I'm in an awkward place. 16 is too little, 64 is probably way more than I need. Is it worth the extra $100 to me? Can I justify it? If the base was 32, I'd just buy that and forget about all this.

I'm going to be fairly miffed if the new iPads follow this size pricing as well. 16gb goes even faster there.

Also, I think it's conspicuous that they didn't drop battery life specs OR a price list on the watch. Who wants to bet that the $350 model is the basic plastic band/aluminum case/glass screen model, and that stepping up to the stainless/sapphire model puts you over $499?
posted by emptythought at 5:56 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


As a MotoACTV owner and PolarClock user (lolwut), I unexpectedly find myself in the position of being an early-adopter here....

The MotoACTV is a shitty watch, and you'd look like a dork if you wore it (a criticism that is IMO true of the iWatch, unlike the Moto 360, which actually looks pretty spiffy, although neither device is necessarily useful).

However, apart from the bugs and quirks, it's the ideal fitness tracker -- it has GPS tracking, plays music (via a wire or bluetooth), can communicate with other fitness equipment via ANT+, syncs when I get home via WiFi, and doesn't need to be tethered to any device, or for me to be using any particular OS on my phone or computer.

Given the balloning size of mobile phones, I find my MotoACTV to be more necessary and useful than it was when I bought the thing in 2010. I'd gladly shell over cash to buy an updated version that was a bit less.... quirky.

As for smart-watches.... I don't quite see the appeal, especially when they need to be tethered to another device in order to do anything useful. Less creepy than Google Glass, but... I dunno... As a person who practically lives on the internet, even I think smartwatches might be a bridge too far when it comes to information overload...
posted by schmod at 5:57 PM on September 9, 2014


> Back in a while. Getting a box of Pop Tarts to see if an iPhone 6+ will fit in my pocket.

I had an idea to make a mock-iPhone 6 by standing up and sitting down with a Pop-Tart (in a sandwich bag) in the usual phone pocket in my jeans. If I could stand up and sit down without crushing it, the new bigger iPhone would probably fit OK

But the premise as stated is misleadingly presented, so I've aborted the experiment.

Pop Tart's dimensions are 3/8" x 3 1/8" x 4" (9mm x 79mm x 103.5mm)
iPhone 5's Full body size is 5/16" x 2 5/16" x 4 7/8" (7.6mm x 58.6 mm x 123.8 mm) The 4" refers to its screen's diagonal measure, not its entire body size.

So a Pop Tart (3 1/8", 79mm) is slightly wider than the iPhone 6+, shorter than all iPhones (4" vs. 4.5" for the 1st-gen iPhone), and thicker than all in-production iPhones (although phone cases frequently more than make up the difference).

I might try this anyway by making a cardboard mockup tomorrow, but first I have to figure out what to do with this box full of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts (Big Lots, $1.70, better if used before 06 Dec 14).
posted by ardgedee at 6:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


A 128gb iphone 6+ off contract costs $50 more than a 11" ipad air.

Actually it's only $20 more (128 GB iPad air with cellular: $929. 128 GB iPhone6+ w/o contract: $949). And the iPad Air is 9.7" not 11". I wonder if the phone is actually more expensive to manufacture* or if it's just more profits.

* the iPad's almost a year old though so presumably the manufacturing cost is less than it was at launch, but I don't think they drop the price to reflect that until the next model comes out, so my curiosity is about the two devices' respective at-launch manufacturing costs, not their current manufacturing costs.
posted by aubilenon at 6:13 PM on September 9, 2014


Plus the watch has an always-on connection to your phone and an always-on display.

The display isn't always on. It switches on when you move your arm.
posted by asterix at 6:19 PM on September 9, 2014


>>What's the killer app here?

>What's the killer app of Facebook?


Did someone say Facebook?

posted by jeremias at 6:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


If you want to check the sizes, there is a PDF with the cutouts available.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:24 PM on September 9, 2014


Hm. Has anybody else noticed that there were no iPad updates announced? I wonder if Apple consider it an already-mature product, like the Mac, so they might quietly upgrade the hardware but not have a public product presentation because there aren't any significant new features to tout.

Or else the iPad got backburnered so that the hardware and software teams could go all-in on the Watch.

I guess the latter is more likely but I wouldn't discount the former either.
posted by ardgedee at 6:26 PM on September 9, 2014


I'm just going to come out and say it: this U2 album is pretty damn good.
posted by kmz at 6:27 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The card cheat: The Perfect Thing is now just another dusty antique cluttering up junk drawers and boxes in garages

I still have mine. 5gb, 1st gen FireWire. I got it the day the iPhone went on sale.

I was in high school, and working at a burger shop. The marketing director of some snazzy fashion company came in to get some food and was bragging about/showing off his iPhone. He asked if i wanted one, and I said I didn't even have an iPod. He was shocked, and pulled out his original iPod. Said he'd used it every day since it came out, and it still worked perfectly. He asked me if I had an $20, and I did. Bam, iPod.

It's been through a lot, and it still works perfectly. I replaced the battery myself for maybe $6 when I got it and that made it last something like 20 hours easily since it was higher capacity than stock. I've thrown it at walls, dropped it, gotten it wet, crushed it, gotten it way too hot, you name it. Never had any problems besides actually dislodging the drive cable ones. It's chipped, and worn, and the area around the audio jack is a little cracked... But it works perfectly, even that jack isn't flaky despite the cosmetic damage and abuse.

Best MP3 player, and best iPod I've ever owned. Every other one has been flakier or broken eventually besides that one.

One time I broke my iPhone, I was headed in to the genius bar and brought it to play music. All the apple techs swarmed over to have a look at it and marveled at the fact it still worked great despite almost looking like that gameboy that got blown up in Iraq.

It's also IMO, a totally timeless design like the g4 iMac. It still looks cool today, in an original Walkman/original gameboy/etc kind of way. People still totally get what it is, and go "woah is that an iPod? I've never seen that one, is it super old?" Fairly often.

It also has a screen that can be read perfectly in direct harsh sunlight. Why the fuck doesn't anyone care about that anymore? I have an ancient blackberry which can do that fine too, in color even! That's actually like the #1 reason I've used it so long. I mean other than that it works, and it's basically theft proof, and using it doesn't run my phone/whatever's battery down.

Schmod: The MotoACTV is a shitty watch, and you'd look like a dork if you wore it (a criticism that is IMO true of the iWatch, unlike the Moto 360, which actually looks pretty spiffy, although neither device is necessarily useful).

Actually the moto360 is a shitty watch too. Even just form factor wise. It's too thick.

I own a weird high concept watch I impulse bought for like $5. It looks really cool... Until you put it on. The dimensions of it are almost identical to the moto360. It just looks clunnnnnnky. And I'm a big tall guy with huge hands. On someone with average sized hands or smaller arms it would look super doofy. Like little kids toy walkie talkie watch doofy.

Apples at least seems to have taken this into account and put a lot of emphasis on not being physically a stupid form factor. No one else seems to have tried that yet, since even the nicer looking smart watches I've seen were clunky in some dimension. With the exception of high concept stuff that isn't even on sale yet or moved the hands in silly ways on an analog watch or other not mainstream stuff like that.

I mean even assuming that smart watches are mainstream yet, which lol. That market is basically where MP3 players were when the iPod came out. If not worse.
posted by emptythought at 6:30 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


> If you want to check the sizes, there is a PDF with the cutouts available.

Actual source article for PDF file
posted by ardgedee at 6:30 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hm. Has anybody else noticed that there were no iPad updates announced? I wonder if Apple consider it an already-mature product, like the Mac, so they might quietly upgrade the hardware but not have a public product presentation because there aren't any significant new features to tout.

Or else the iPad got backburnered so that the hardware and software teams could go all-in on the Watch.

I guess the latter is more likely but I wouldn't discount the former either.


iPad mini updates are traditionally announced late October and iPad full size is January. I expect an extended mini hiatus this year and both models to be announced in January with an A8X.
posted by Talez at 6:44 PM on September 9, 2014


Apple Watch provides prostate health tracking and massage for men via rectal insertion using its sensors and the digital touch technology. Women can insert Apple Watch to track vaginal mucus and fertility cycles fully integrated with a number of popular iPhone fertility apps. Sapphire glass and sealed components ensures easy cleanup.
posted by humanfont at 6:45 PM on September 9, 2014


Tevin: To me Smart Watch doesn't become appreciably interesting until everything in my house is connected and my watch becomes my control panel to interact with shit. Pre-heat my oven from the couch, turn down the heat while I'm taking a dump, unlock my door while I'm hiding mountains of laundered cash under my mattress. Etc.

Once I can orchestrate my connected house with my Watch - that'll be cool.


This, like 3G and apps on the original iPhone, is going to be a big deal at next years presentation. I'm calling it.

Read up on homekit. This is already stuff apple is working on, publicly even. and I'm betting that this release is more RTS style staging than anything. Once all the pieces are in place, they're going to strike.

It's as obvious as payments were last year when they released the 5s and touchid. It's just obviously coming.

The main thing I want to know, is how autonomous is the iwatch? Can it use wifi as well as some sort of Bluetooth LE implementation. I'm hoping I'll be able to control my entire house from the toilet while my phones charging in the bedroom, and not just if my phone is next to me as well.

Then again, anyone who buys the first gen of this is a chump. The people who bought the iPhone 1 at launch got shafted on price, and the people who bought the iPad got shafted on updates VERY hard. Not even getting in to friends who got shafted on glitchy 1st gen MacBook pros... I'd be willing to bet gen2, if it launches with homekit baked in, will be able to act a lot more autonomously with it.
posted by emptythought at 6:50 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I expect an extended mini hiatus this year and both models to be announced in January with an A8X.

There are no "x" models anymore. Ever since the air/5s/retina mini generation there's just two SOCs. The stacked ram model the iPhone and mini use, and the "big" one the air uses. There's no beefier gpu, it's the same CPU at slightly different clocks across the board.

It wouldn't surprise me if this gen not even the clocks aren't different either, since they were loudly touting no throttling now.

I do agree that a combined iPad event makes sense though, but I hope it's sooner rather than later. I really want a cheap used retina mini, and the prices are staying pretty stable.
posted by emptythought at 6:53 PM on September 9, 2014


There was a lull at work today, so I caught the event through a liveblog while watching AAPL's stock price. Everything was going up and up, until the moment the watch was shown. Then it took a nosedive.

Just found it interesting to think about, then checked the time on the wall clock, computer, phone, pager and wristwatch, which has a moon phase indicator, before deciding that I had other things to think about. Like which bag of Doritos to get from the cafeteria.
posted by herrdoktor at 6:56 PM on September 9, 2014


The new problem it solves is all-day-long biometrics gathering on a general-purpose device instead of a single-purpose device like the fitbit.

So why the need for a screen/processor capable of handling graphics? Alternatively, why do we need a general-purpose computing device on our wrists?
posted by graphnerd at 6:57 PM on September 9, 2014


What's the killer app of Facebook?

Network effects and lock-in.
posted by graphnerd at 6:58 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


This, like 3G and apps on the original iPhone, is going to be a big deal at next years presentation. I'm calling it.

You're two-three years too early. The watch needs to mature a bit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 PM on September 9, 2014


There are no "x" models anymore. Ever since the air/5s/retina mini generation there's just two SOCs. The stacked ram model the iPhone and mini use, and the "big" one the air uses. There's no beefier gpu, it's the same CPU at slightly different clocks across the board.

It wouldn't surprise me if this gen not even the clocks aren't different either, since they were loudly touting no throttling now.

I do agree that a combined iPad event makes sense though, but I hope it's sooner rather than later. I really want a cheap used retina mini, and the prices are staying pretty stable.


You're probably right. With the i6P pushing 1080p it'll need similar graphic horsepower to its 2048 x 1536 brethren.
posted by Talez at 7:01 PM on September 9, 2014


I think the real question is: how will the Apple Watch advance pornography?
posted by mazola at 7:06 PM on September 9, 2014


It's been NINE HOURS. Is there seriously not yet a way to watch a full video of the keynote? Or is it cursed or something.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:07 PM on September 9, 2014


Yeah, colour me also unconvinced by the Apple Watch - and not just Apple's implementation, but the idea of wearable wristwatch computers tied (or not) to a phone in general.

Much like Google Glass, I see it as having niche applications (eg running/gym for a watch, industry/medical applications for Glass) rather than the broad appeal of a smartphone.

But, I could be wrong.
posted by modernnomad at 7:07 PM on September 9, 2014


Women's business pants, skirts, and dresses for the most part have crappy small pockets or no pockets at all. If the range on the Watch will allow pocket-challenged people to stay connected to their iPhones without carrying them to meetings in nearby offices, or fishing them out of their bags while commuting then I think it'll do pretty well.
posted by ants at 7:29 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't get why you wouldn't just Leela your phone directly to your wrist.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:30 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The other night I was talking with some friends about huge phones, and the "when we were kids, a travel iron seemed good enough" idea came up. That's what people look like when they're talking on one of those 5+ inch slabs. Where is the elegance of these designs -in use-? It's like talking to a brick. I can't even bear to use my Nexus 4 in hand-held mode, it is too large and blocky.

And what's with the watch? Apple have definitely lost their way. The watch should have been slightly not-round but closer to round. This is a very utilitarian and not-interesting way to implement a wrist interface.

The only "exciting" thing was Apple Pay, which is Apple-ese for "let's have your credit card number". My Nexus has NFC and I won't use that; my CC number cannot be found on my phone. One hack and the Apple ecosystem goes TU. It's time, anyway.
posted by jet_silver at 7:32 PM on September 9, 2014


The MeFi thread anticipating the release of the first iPod makes for some fun reading:
...
It's gonna bomb.. By only supporting Mac computers, they've cut out about 90% of the market. Really, REALLY dumb move.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2001 [10 favorites +][!]


To be fair, there is no way in hell that the iPod could have blown up the way it did if Apple had stuck with only supporting Macs.
posted by jcreigh at 7:35 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think it's fun, but not $350 fun. I'll wait for the  Watch Dollar Store.

I'll wait for the one that comes out of a vending machine and has little chemical candies in it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:37 PM on September 9, 2014


It's been NINE HOURS. Is there seriously not yet a way to watch a full video of the keynote? Or is it cursed or something.


Watched it at 5:30, start to finish on AppleTV. What's your deal?
posted by bobloblaw at 7:41 PM on September 9, 2014


The only "exciting" thing was Apple Pay, which is Apple-ese for "let's have your credit card number". My Nexus has NFC and I won't use that; my CC number cannot be found on my phone. One hack and the Apple ecosystem goes TU. It's time, anyway.

If you have ever bought an app from the app store, or a song from iTunes - ie, virtually every one of Apple's millions of iPhone users - they already have your credit card number.

However, I've been testing an Android this week - it seems much more feasible to not have your credit card number attached to you Google Play account. That hasn't been my experience with Apple.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:41 PM on September 9, 2014


Then again, anyone who buys the first gen of this is a chump. The people who bought the iPhone 1 at launch got shafted on price

...and then we unlocked/jailbroke them and sold them on eBay for a $200 profit over the original purchase price after buying the iPhone 3G.

Of course that probably won't be the case with the watch...
posted by mmoncur at 7:47 PM on September 9, 2014


Actually the moto360 is a shitty watch too. Even just form factor wise. It's too thick.

It's 11.5mm which is thinner than most men's Rolexes to pick an arbitrary watch manufacturer that people seem happy enough to wear.
posted by markr at 7:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


persona au gratin: "Watch the video before judging"

I started the video and I within seconds Ive says about the watch: "You can't determine a boundary between the physical object and the software" which I translate as "Our customers are, correction, ASPIRE TO BE, people who are not particularly intelligent"
posted by exogenous at 7:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


bobloblaw: "Watched it at 5:30, start to finish on AppleTV. What's your deal?"

The original livestream was a train wreck -- constant freezing, crashing, Mandarin overdub, "Access denied"... a complete joke.

Then the livestream page said the full video would be coming "soon"... for hours.

Then that got replaced with a video player that wouldn't play on desktop and crashed iPad Safari.

Direct links to the video file lead to a Quicktime logo with a big question mark. Downloading the file generates "Error 47: Invalid URL. ()"

Oh, and the only versions I can find on YouTube are mediocre liveblogs with overdubbed commentary.

I just want to watch the keynote, but can't find any way to actually do this simple thing that doesn't immediately crap out.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:59 PM on September 9, 2014


I'm genuinely upset about the iPod classic. I use mine every single day! All of my music and audiobooks and podcasts fit on it, and I can manipulate it to skip tracks, change volume, etc in the car or in my pocket without looking at it. I have an iPhone, but it won't fit all my music and it's a giant pain in the ass and safety hazard to use while driving. I'm tempted to buy a backup iPod now even though mine is doing just fine. Though I guess I could make do with an iPod nano in the future.
posted by yasaman at 8:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The MeFi thread anticipating the release of the first iPod makes for some fun reading:
...
It's gonna bomb.. By only supporting Mac computers, they've cut out about 90% of the market. Really, REALLY dumb move.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2001 [10 favorites +][!]


The thing is iPod sales didn't really take off until a year or two after they added windows support, so we don't really know.
posted by markr at 8:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


With the Taptic feature on the watch, someone should be making a morse code app any day now.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:10 PM on September 9, 2014


graphnerd What's the killer app here? iPods had entire libraries.

As I was just reminded by reading the MeFi thread on the release of the iPod, it came out as a 5 GB device that cost $399. It took several generations to get to the entire libraries thing.


Though I am feeling such a disconnect with this talk of having an entire library on an iPod. They never made them big enough for that for me, and with the interface available it would never make sense. Well, that and the idea of "my" mp3s was effectively made irrelevant with Spotify, etc. Why fight a clickwheel or fight with iTunes when I can set playlists on my Windows Desktop sync with the player live?

I hardly ever use my iPod anymore, though once I got it I used it daily and switched out music at least weekly for a good number of years. Now every time I think to play from it its dead. And I just don't care.
posted by mountmccabe at 8:31 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


16GB as a base capacity on the new iPhones to me is a subtle signal to nudge people into buying the next higher capacity. I'd imagine the ones with higher capacity might yield a higher profit. Even if it were a tiny bit higher, with the volumes Apple commands, that could add up.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:37 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


iWanna charge my Watch all night
And party every day
posted by kirkaracha at 8:41 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Dammit, I still want an iPod that can carry all my music & audiobooks without needing WiFi or cellular to stream them!

Just a fraction of the 100+ Gb swamps my phone or my old 1st-gen iPod Touch. I guess I will have to buy a big SD card and some adapters and mod out my last still-functioning white iPod! *sigh*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:44 PM on September 9, 2014


How are you supposed to type on the Apple watch? I will never use voice dictation. Period. I don't want to look like a crazy person, and besides, I don't want people hearing what I'm typing.

I can see the watch being adopted by the same people who attach their iPhones to an armband when they go jogging (do people still do that?). But people in general don't wear watches anymore except as jewelry, which the Apple Watch is not. I can't see people replacing their phones with the watch because of the lack of typing ability. And if you already need to carry around the phone to do heavy duty mobile texting/game playing/web browsing then why shell out another $300+ for a watch?
posted by pravit at 8:46 PM on September 9, 2014


I wear a watch, actually. Until it died, I carried a pocket watch almost everywhere -- and I think this Apple Watch would make a sweet pocket watch!

It would be like the iPhone Nano. Imagine it with a nice cover that click'ed open and shut, and a slightly larger face to show more things. A chain would keep it attached to my pants, so I wouldn't worry as much about it being an NFC payment token. You could talk into it to summon The Genie Siri or make a call, and then click it shut like a Star Trek communicator badge.

Dang, now I want one...
posted by wenestvedt at 8:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


And if you already need to carry around the phone to do heavy duty mobile texting/game playing/web browsing then why shell out another $300+ for a watch?

Seems like Apple Watch is more personal and intimate, what with the drawing, poking and measuring.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 PM on September 9, 2014


To all you people complaining about the coming disappearance of the iPod Classic: you can mostly cope with smart playlists. I've got a 250 gig music library, mostly ripped as lossless, so autoconverted to 192kbps, it all fits on a 160GB iPod Classic. I went about my day with the iPod Classic and a dumb phone for the longest time, but when I finally succumbed to a 32GB iPhone, it was annoying having to choose what music to put on my phone. But I've got it narrowed down to a bunch of smart playlists like songs with zero plays or classical tracks with a play count of one or indie rock songs rated four stars or higher that haven't been played in at least a year. Every time you sync your phone, the playlists will update with new songs. It doesn't solve the "I need to listen to this one particular track right now" problem, but if anything I've been going through some older stuff that I haven't heard in a while. Now I can't be bothered to be encumbered with the weight of an iPod Classic.
posted by alidarbac at 9:09 PM on September 9, 2014


Markr: It's 11.5mm which is thinner than most men's Rolexes to pick an arbitrary watch manufacturer that people seem happy enough to wear.

I think it's that those are generally diving style watches, not "classic" almost generic flat sided round watches. Diving watches are always huge, and they're designed around that form. It's like comparing a small car with truck sized wheels to a truck, or something.

The Motorola looks awkward because it's thick with just plain flat sides. It throws off the proportions and looks awkward.

I own a big, thick, midrange diving watch(tuning fork era bulova accutron snorkel). It looks totally properly proportioned. Whereas that odd watch I posted above just looks... Weird. If I slapped them side by side on my desk they'd probably rise to the same height. Hell, the snorkel would probably stand taller because the back isn't flat. But the flat sided watch just looks mis-proportioned.

It's not just the thickness, it's how it "wears it". This is the kind of proportional cockup that clone products of apple devices have done since the original iMac.

And no, I'm not saying the 360 is a clone of the apple watch since that would be absurd. I'm just saying its a common mistake for other companies to make, and the kind of thing apple generally nails. Even if the apple watch seems thick, thick I bet it looks totally fine whereas the 360 just looks goofy.

The instant I can see them in store I'm going to go try both of them on. As it is, I've had fun letting friends try on 38 and 42m watches I have, and that high concept watch to show them what the moto360 is like.

Also, mark my words, apple is going to be the first to make a smart watch that's like 3mm thick like tho insane skagens and such. I bet it'll only take them 3 years, max. One of those silicon based screens where the logic is in the display itself, or something.

I sort of suspect apple did the Bugatti veyron thing here too. As in the design was made and then it was up to the engineers to make it fit and work within that to certain specs. Motorola said "make a watch with a round screen" to engineering, and they dug up artifacts from the aura and it got thicker and more compromised as it went on(the flat spot on the screen, and the thickness are relatively new things I swear. When it was still conceptish those were both conveniently absent). Jony ive said "make it fit in here with minimal changes, here's as much money as JPL would spend going to mars" and they just figured it out. From what I've seen so far, I think they had the right idea.
posted by emptythought at 9:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


For everyone thinking the new iPhones are too big to drive with your thumb: yes, they are too big to drive with your thumb.

If you're right handed, you hold the iPhone Six Plus in your left hand and stab at its inky black heart with the index finger of your right hand.

Your left thumb is holding the phone on the phone's left side and your right thumb is now superfluous and you an feel free to let it evolve into a stump or whatever.
posted by GuyZero at 9:27 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


I realize i'm like comment blasting here, but it is not too big to drive with my thumb and i still think it's silly. I have super gigantic gorilla hands. I can touch my thumb and pointer finger together over the top left edge of the iphone 5 in my right hand. base of palm to fingertip, my hand is longer than like 99% of laptops ever made.

I could thumb the 6, and probably the 6+ if i got to jockey it around in my hand a little bit. The thing is, i don't want to. I was ok with the size change from the 4 to the 5 because it didn't get any wider, just a bit taller. Now i'm just kind of annoyed. I actually like small phones; as in i was one of the people who though the iphone 4 was the absolute flawlessly perfect size. I could hold it essentially any way, in either hand, and hit 100% of it. There wasn't just one specific grip i had to flop it into to work it.

The 5 works like that, but there's a reduced number of positions i can really use it easily in. I have to jockey it around noticeably. I've gotten used to it, but it's not a sort of omni-gripable thing that the 4 was.

I can only see even the 4.7 being even worse at that.

I've tried the galaxy 3/4/5, the nexus 4/5, the htc one/one m8(which imo are the only actually decently designed android phones i've ever held) and while i could easily thumb them, it was more like a game controller than a phone. There was one specific grip i had to get into to do it.

So yea, RIP 3.5, 2007-2012. And RIP 4.0, 2012-2014. Definitely be pouring out some of my 40oz for those homies.

16GB as a base capacity on the new iPhones to me is a subtle signal to nudge people into buying the next higher capacity. I'd imagine the ones with higher capacity might yield a higher profit. Even if it were a tiny bit higher, with the volumes Apple commands, that could add up.

After reflecting on it for a bit, i think it's actually somewhat clever. A lot of people buy an iphone and download like 3 apps, and don't do much else but text pictures with the camera. By only including 16gb, they're maximizing the profit margit on what will likely be by far the best selling model. Whereas, the power users have always complained about the upcharge for storage upgrades on a phone with no removable storage. And now, bam, the extra $100 gets you quadruple the space.

It's a calculated move to both make the people who are willing to pay to upgrade and know they need it happy, while also doing the bare minimum while still providing a "good experience" to the people who wont notice anyways. I mean, i still think it's vaguely dumb since i bet that extra 16gb of space costs a buck now... but i sort of get it. And a buck spread out over 25 million phones? that's well, 25 million dollars.

Tim cook is like, Lex Luther levels of brilliant on that when you look at it that way. People get to feel like they're being thrown a bone with the large space jump for the money while at the same time they still rake it in by keep the entry level models space and cost low.

And the element of pushing people to upgrade is absolutely there, i agree.
posted by emptythought at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


There are rumors on the Internets that Apple is about to or has acquired Path.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:59 PM on September 9, 2014


launched the era of digital music

nope.

Napster: June 1999 - July 2001
iPod: Oct. 2001

coincidence?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I for one am kind of excited for a larger screen. Not sure how much larger I want, but I'm currently on a 4S and spend enough time doing ridiculous web searches on my phone that yeah, that'll be nice to have a bigger screen.

Having LTE and having more battery and 2x the RAM and 5X the CPU will also be nice (though I was hoping for 4x the RAM). And I'm also looking forward to not having my volume buttons get stuck occasionally.
posted by aubilenon at 10:01 PM on September 9, 2014


Has anybody else noticed that there were no iPad updates announced?

Tablet sales have been disappointing this year, "crashing". Lot's of speculation why, but the most convincing to me is that a) the table market isn't that big to begin with, and b) the folks who have them are more or less satisfied and don't see the need to upgrade quickly. The tablet market is more like the pc market than the phone market, iow.

Also, consider the following. I have an Nexus 5, roughly the size of the new iPhone 6, which I frequently find too small to browse the web, do more than cursory email etc... When I want to do something more, I reach for my 10" tablet. My wife, on the other hand, has a Samsung Note 2, which does both jobs for her, phone and tablet. It's a bit smaller than the 6+.

Given both the low sales from tablets and the potential for the 6+ to cannibalize sales of the iPad mini in particular, I'm not surprised that iPads weren't part of this announcement. Indeed, I suspect iPads may be de-emphasized in the future.
posted by bonehead at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2014


Has anybody else noticed that there were no iPad updates announced?

Apple has never announced new iPhone and iPad together in a single event.

2010 - iPad in Jan, iPhone in Jun
2011 - iPad in Mar, iPhone in Oct
2012 - iPad in Mar, iPhone in Sep, iPad in Oct
2013 - iPhone in Sep, iPad in Oct
2014 - iPhone in Sep

Nobody will be surprised when Apple do another big announcement next month for the iPad.
posted by applesurf at 10:53 PM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's time for me to upgrade my android. I have a Motorola Maxx which I bought mainly for its very, very good battery life and largish screen. Not sure what I'm going to next, Nexus 5, maybe? But to address the unfathomable size of the new iphones:

I don't even understand what it is I could do with one hand with a phone...you could...what? Look at tweets, or tumblr or something else which is largely scroll scroll scroll, which seems...shallow? I mean, time-killing but unessential. If you actually need to send email, or look at a non-mobile website which requires a sideways view, or actually use a map with searches and such...you're back to two hands anyway, and then you have to battle the tiny screen.

I don't find holding my phone in my left hand and manipulating it with my right a burden for the kind of things I want a phone to do, so that's a compromise I'm happy to make. I'm too damn old to care if holding it up to my head to talk on it makes me look like a dork. I can join all the douche canoes with bluetooth headsets...

Pocket space, sure. I think my ideal phone would be the size of a iphone 4 but would open along the long axis to be a dual monitor (so to speak) setup. Give me as much screen space as possible. Hell, make it unfold twice for a quadruple-screen setup. When folded, either outer side could be active. Hell, make it so in that mode you're app-switching when flipping the phone over.
posted by maxwelton at 11:03 PM on September 9, 2014


The funny thing about reading all these comments about the new phone being too big is that I live in a part of the world where the majority of people are using Android devices, particularly Samsung ones, and there are tons of people with really huge phones. So there does appear to be a large number of people who are pretty okay with big phones, and in fact like their phones to be big. It's to a point where whenever I do see an iPhone, I find that it looks unusually small. I guess what's "normal" sized shifts pretty quickly.
posted by destrius at 11:07 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Since Jobs died, there's been constant doubt over whether Apple lost its innovation. That was supposed to be put to rest by unveiling wearables. Was anything announced in the keynote truly innovative?

Smart watches have been done before, with the first successful model being Pebble which completed its kickstarter campaign two years ago. A lot of the high level selling points for the watch already appear in Android Wear and in wider Android in general, and they've launched (or at least announced) the product without solving the major existing smart watch issues of tying it to a phone, battery life, and size of the device.

Larger phones have been done for years by competitors, and people will no doubt go back to the Steve Jobs quote about nobody wanting to buy phones which were larger than the iPhone of the time. It looks like all of the "new" technology in the iPhone 6 has been done before in Android, from NFC to new software features.

Am I missing an amazing cutting edge advance?

And what are the odds on the NFC payment system and wireless charging for the phone being proprietary technology?
posted by dvrmmr at 11:33 PM on September 9, 2014


dvrmmr, no, the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. No, the iPad wasn't the first touchscreen computer. No, the iPhone wasn't the first smartphone.

Somehow, though, the general consensus looking back on them is that they were, however, the first ones that really mattered to — and this could be the important part — normal people who don't have an RSS feed reader filled with tech news sites.

I won't be lining up to get an Apple Watch on day one, but I will be certainly keeping an eye on what they do with that line over time. It could get pretty interesting in another year or two.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Which is to say, there's likely some special sauce combination of usability, battery life, and (especially for NFC payments) widespread adoption that will push Apple's stuff over the edge into usefulness, particularly when compared to their competitors' stuff that's been languishing around for the past couple of years.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:49 PM on September 9, 2014


A friend in London reports that being left-handed while owning an Apple watch is counterrevolutionary and does not work at all well. Or, in her version, "is shit."

Which will be marketed as a feature next release, no doubt.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:09 AM on September 10, 2014


I think the real question is: how will the Apple Watch advance pornography

A man's wrist may be a less than ideal location for viewing pornography. Just sayin.
posted by Hoopo at 12:22 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


A friend in London reports that being left-handed while owning an Apple watch is counterrevolutionary and does not work at all well. Or, in her version, "is shit."

Which will be marketed as a feature next release, no doubt.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:09 PM on September 10


Given that from what I've heard, the Apple Watch was only on display with a looping demo reel, this sort of hands-on experience sounds pretty exclusive.

(Also, apparently there's a left-handed mode where you flip the watch around so the crown is on the left)
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:27 AM on September 10, 2014


Also, since a lot was made of watch's ability to record one's activity through the day, I'm wondering how if it'll record sexual activity.

Sure, but you're likely going to need to make a new notch in the strap to get it to fit right.
posted by fairmettle at 1:59 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Doesn't need daily recharging. Won't collect and leak your data. Cheap. Does not require a firmware upgrade.

Time to change my name to 'Old man yells at iCloud'
posted by Wordshore at 3:15 AM on September 10, 2014


At least I can go back to reading the "technology" folder in my RSS feed today. I'm always interested in what Apple's up to but the media oversaturation is ridiculous. By my count, The Verge had 57 stories about the apple announcements yesterday.
posted by octothorpe at 4:20 AM on September 10, 2014


Smart watches have been done before, with the first successful model being Pebble which completed its kickstarter campaign two years ago.

Which isn't Apple branded.

A lot of the high level selling points for the watch already appear in Android Wear and in wider Android in general, and they've launched (or at least announced) the product without solving the major existing smart watch issues of tying it to a phone, battery life, and size of the device.

None of which matters to the iPhone ecosystem.

Larger phones have been done for years by competitors, and people will no doubt go back to the Steve Jobs quote about nobody wanting to buy phones which were larger than the iPhone of the time.

Steve Jobs is no longer the CEO of Apple.

It looks like all of the "new" technology in the iPhone 6 has been done before in Android, from NFC to new software features.

None of which matters to iPhone ecosystem.

Am I missing an amazing cutting edge advance?

Probably not, but the amazing cutting edge advance hasn't been quite what Apple has been about for some time now. It's weird to have people saying things like this after the success of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

And what are the odds on the NFC payment system and wireless charging for the phone being proprietary technology?

Since it's called Apple Pay, the odds are pretty high. No one will care that it's proprietary technology, outside of some of the geekier circles on the 'net.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:21 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


> And what are the odds on the NFC payment system and wireless charging for the phone being proprietary technology?

The former? Pretty low: The point-of-sale devices shown in the demo video are bog-standard NFC readers, already exist and are in use with Android phones and whatnot. Apple's secret sauce is probably the verification and security model, which depends on cooperation with the major card companies to generate all those one-use PINs to keep as little personally identifiable data on the phone as possible.

Think of it more like a separate data channel with common endpoints; if you're a Visa cardholder shopping at $Store, you'll be able to pay at the same register with your phone regardless of whether it's an Android or Apple device; it's what goes on behind the scenes that's different.

The latter? Pretty high, but that's a weird thing to single out for complaint. One less proprietary connector would be nice, but a watch with exposed electronic contacts is stupid.
posted by ardgedee at 4:44 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


For everybody who is mystified by the fact that Apple succeeds with products that replicate functionality already on the market, I offer the following analogy.

Imagine the most phenomenally well-stocked restaurant in the world. Let's call it The Omnistaurant. They have literally every single ingredient on the market, and you can go in and give the waiter specific instructions on how to combine those ingredients, and then you can go to the kitchen and supervise the staff while they will prepare the dish exactly as you ask.

Next door is Steve's Steak House. Steve's Steak House serves steak, plus a choice of three vegetables. They don't have a lot of variety, but they have an immensely talented chef, and they buy only the best-quality ingredients. They are also 20% more expensive than The Omnistaurant.

If you know a lot about cooking, you might conclude that The Omnistaurant is an objectively better restaurant. If you like the steak at Steve's, you can replicate it exactly at The Ominstaurant. All you have to do is ask for exactly the right kind of beef, and exactly the right kinds of seasoning in exactly the right amount, and then go to the kitchen and tell the staff exactly how to prepare it. And, yes, the waiters at Steve's are more polite than the waiters at The Omnistaurant but that doesn't affect the taste of the food. How does Steve's Steak House justify charging more money for fewer possibilities?!!!??

Of course, if you haven't spent years acquiring the skills necessary to select and prepare a perfect steak, than The Omnistaurant is going to be a frustrating and exhausting experience for you. You're going to spend $40 and end up with a burnt and poorly seasoned steak, served by rude waiters. For you, it makes much more sense to spent $48 on something that is guaranteed to turn out well.

So. The broader technology market offers you infinite options, some of which are great and some of which are horrible, which may or may not work well with each other depending on how you configure them. Apple offers you fewer options, but they are carefully selected and designed to work as a coherent whole, and you will probably spend a lot less time troubleshooting them once you've bought them.

If you have considerable expertise, or if you have the time to sort through all your options, or if you just enjoy the process of making things work together, it may not be worth your paying Apple's premium. But it may be worth it for other people. Those people are not sheep or fanboys or kool-aid drinkers. They are just other people with different needs than you.
posted by yankeefog at 5:10 AM on September 10, 2014 [30 favorites]


In short, people are different, some of them are even different from you (the general you) and trying to see the world only through your own blinders will result in a frustrating life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Luddite speaks:

I am unimpressed because my favorite Apple device, the iPod Touch, looks like it's headed down the same path as the Classic. The Touch pushes all the right buttons for me: hordes of apps (though my 4thGen can't run iOS7 and far too many iOS 6 apps are starting to take the iPhone's higher RAM for granted), fits easily in a pocket, no data plan requirement, pretty cheap. Focusing on increasingly large iPhones shows Apple considers me an afterthought, as they probably should.

Also, if someone asks me what time it is, I got it written down here on a piece of paper.
posted by delfin at 5:34 AM on September 10, 2014


They are just other people with different needs than you.

Madness! Madness and lies! If I can't generalize my specific worldview into a firm set of rules that applies to the whole of human experience, then what's the point in arguing on the internet?

Now then, let's all get back to talking about why Sexual Girl War God #35 is the best piece of animation yet created by God, and clearly superior in every way to Magical Love Gentleman.
posted by aramaic at 6:04 AM on September 10, 2014


I did not want the 1st iPod, the 1st iPhone, nor the 1st iPad. I don't want the Watch now, which means I'll have one in 2 years.
posted by Mick at 6:14 AM on September 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Am I missing an amazing cutting edge advance?

If you frame it that way you are probably missing the point, although the Apple Watch crown, the four sensors on the back (infrared, visible-light LEDs and photosensors), the haptic feedback screen and yes the wireless charging are all pretty innovative. Has someone done any of those before? Actually, it doesn't matter, is my guess.

The main reason, I believe, is because the "Apple Watch" isn't being released, it's the Apple Watch(es). 34 designs I think the number is. So this is the Apple Watch, and so is this, this and these.

This is a pretty interesting strategy, Apple is basically staking claim to an entire segment of the market. I'm no psychologist but it strikes me that there is a crafty dynamic going on here, when the consumer is in the Apple Store looking at all those choices it's not a matter of "Will I buy the Apple Watch?", it's a matter of "Which one will I buy?".

Again, if you're looking for an "advance" you might scoff at the interchangeable straps but that is also pretty smart. Not only can people switch up styles, but when version 2.0 comes out you can keep your straps and upgrade. (Unless Apple changes the compatibility of that system, but they've never done *that* before. LOL!)

Do I like this watch? Nope not really. Think it's bulky and don't really like the idea of being so "intimately connected" with Apple (or any device really), also I guess I'm one of the few people left who wear a "real watch" daily. Yet isn't the fact that people *don't* wear watches anymore just a huge opportunity for Apple? All those empty wrists with no competition!

Finally, I'm in my 40s and while I'm a target market, I'm probably not *the* target market. The UI displayed feels very different and even silly. Yet the Apple Watch has already passed the teen test (at least in my household where my 13 year old looked at it and said "Cool").

"In many ways, teens represent the leading edge of mobile connectivity, and the patterns of their technology use often signal future changes in the adult population."

That's a quote from the Pew Research's Teens and Technology 2013 report.
I'm sure this fact has not escaped Apple and my guess is this will be the ultimate test as to whether the watch is a bomb or new category of device. $350 is a significant sum of money for most teenagers, but, my doesn't that number seem like the sweet spot for millions of graduation, Christmas and birthday presents?
posted by jeremias at 6:43 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


> And what are the odds on the NFC payment system and wireless charging for the phone being proprietary technology?

With regards to NFC payment there are existing global standards for this sort of thing and the iPhone uses them. I can't quote standards numbers off the top of my head, but you don't get to be compatible on day one with a few million payment terminals that are already deployed without being standards compliant. The new iphone just emulates existing NFC payment cards.
posted by GuyZero at 7:12 AM on September 10, 2014


I don't like NFC payment systems. It seems like I'll have to carry all my cards with me anyway. Since I'm going to be carrying my driver's license and work ID anyway, who cares?

And with NFC, I hand over my phone to waiters and bartenders? I suppose a pocket-sized wireless NFC reader solves that.

Anyway, the Coin card seems ideal.
posted by mullacc at 7:22 AM on September 10, 2014


btw, here's a genuinely accurate size comparison of iPhones and a Pop-Tart. Because apparently I obsess about things sometimes.
posted by ardgedee at 7:41 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anyway, the Coin card seems ideal.

Magstripe cards are terrible and have been the root cause of every retails data breach so far. In a few years most of the world will be on chip & pin with some NFC.

If you're concerned about NFC security you should read up on how it works. There's probably an undiscovered hole somewhere but it's a pretty well-architected system
posted by GuyZero at 7:50 AM on September 10, 2014


No. I'm out. This is the Nintendo Virtual Boy of watches.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is. Even if you consider this as just a watch, then you have to remember that dorks have been wearing ridiculously modded watches since basically they were invented. You have tv watches, radio watches, calculator watches, watches with barometers, sundials, thermometers, moon phases, astrological calendars. Hell, I still have a watch from when I was a kid that has a compass, magnifying glass, measuring tape, and specimen vial. Watches just invite gadgetry, they always have and they always will.
posted by Think_Long at 7:52 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hadn't realized that you need to have your iPhone nearby to use the watch, and I don't think I would be tempted to buy it until that's not true. One of the appealing things is that I use a running app on my phone, and I think a watch would be a lot less bulky to carry on a run than a phone is. I also really like the idea of unobtrusive real-time reminders to do things, and I can think of a couple of times in the past month when I would have appreciated being able to use a GPS map without pulling out my phone. I was really late to jump on the smart-phone bandwagon (I got my first one about six months ago), but I could see myself wanting this thing as soon as there's been time to work out some of the kinks and it's not tethered to a phone. I like the way it looks, and it doesn't seem too outrageously expensive. My current watch was like $20 at Target, but I've spent up to $100 on a watch that didn't do anything but tell time. But like I said: I'm old, and I already wear a watch.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:59 AM on September 10, 2014


Magstripe cards are terrible and have been the root cause of every retails data breach so far. In a few years most of the world will be on chip & pin with some NFC.

Well all my cards have magstripes now, so what's the difference? Hopefully a Coin-like card will be adapted for EMV when that finally rolls out.

If you're concerned about NFC security you should read up on how it works.

I'm not. I just think it'd be weird to pile three phones on that little plastic tray restaurants give you. (EDIT: I mean, that little leather folder that classy places give you.).
posted by mullacc at 8:04 AM on September 10, 2014


maxwelton: "It's time for me to upgrade my android. I have a Motorola Maxx which I bought mainly for its very, very good battery life and largish screen. Not sure what I'm going to next, Nexus 5, maybe?"

The new, larger Moto X has been getting stellar reviews. I've been very pleased with the previous, smaller generation.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:12 AM on September 10, 2014


Hopefully a Coin-like card will be adapted for EMV when that finally rolls out.

I was under the impression, very likely wrong, that this would be more or less impossible in any kind of reasonable timeframe? Coin appears to have a very very limited lifespan -- EMV rolls out (that is to say, the transaction liability shifts) in October 2015.
posted by aramaic at 8:13 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have no judgments about its long-term viability, technical chops, or anything objective really. My main response is purely subjective: I find the aesthetics of that watch unbearably hideous. I say this as someone who finds lots of tech quite attractive, has owned probably dozens of Apple products since the Mac Plus, and is nerdy enough to have worn a Pebble. But something about the rounded square is almost surprisingly off-putting to my eye. I don't care for the rounded edges of the iPhone 6 either, so clearly I have an aversion to constant radius of curvatures or something. But man, what an ugly watch.
posted by chortly at 8:15 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The future of Apple is retro-looking tech à la 2001. Get with the futurepast!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:23 AM on September 10, 2014


All this talk of the phone being too large just goes to show that you aren't the target market. "Dads making $70K a year" are getting a little older every year and with age comes aging. And one of (the many) thing to go is the eyes. Dealing with a slightly larger phone is easier that dealing with a smaller phone plus juggling reading glasses.
posted by rtimmel at 8:30 AM on September 10, 2014


Coin appears to have a very very limited lifespan -- EMV rolls out (that is to say, the transaction liability shifts) in October 2015.

My understanding is that chip-and-signature will coexist with EMV for some period past October 2015. I think until the 2017 deadline for fuel station kiosks to accept EMV?
posted by mullacc at 8:34 AM on September 10, 2014


Things I think Apple has got right:

1- The email thing where it looks at incoming messages and tries to give you short response options.
2- The crown interface. One of the things Apple did well with iPod and iPhone was making a UI that you wanted to explore and play with. The crown feels like something I'd like to play with, just as the click wheel was on the original iPod.
3-Watch bands, colors and options -- The Android wear devices and Pebble are very limited in their options and ability to accessorize / style. Watches are jewelry and the "features" like telling time are often secondary to the fashion statement. The watch seems to have been designed with the notion that Apple will provide a broad set of options around the wristband and color, but with the idea that 3rd party accessory makers can add their own designs.

Things I'm not so excited about:
1- The watch isn't waterproof. Pebble remains the only manufacturer to get this right.
2- I'm not sure how the device will work for left handed folks. Can it be turned around so the crown can go on the other side depending on which wrist you are using.
3- Apple only -- The killer thing about iPod was that it worked with all the other technology. It feels like an artificial barrier.

I remain skeptical of the smart watch segment in general. I'm not sure they provide enough of a lift over smartphones to really be a sticky gadget, instead of just a fad or a toy. I personally think that Google Glass and the wearable HUD is the future. Full disclosure I have a Pebble, Google Glass, and Android Phone and an iPhone. Glass remains my second device of choice and preferred method of getting the time. I mean why bother to look at my wrist when I've got it all right there in the HUD when I need it.
posted by humanfont at 8:36 AM on September 10, 2014


Imagine the most phenomenally well-stocked restaurant in the world. Let's call it The Omnistaurant. They have literally every single ingredient on the market, and you can go in and give the waiter specific instructions on how to combine those ingredients, and then you can go to the kitchen and supervise the staff while they will prepare the dish exactly as you ask.

Next door is Steve's Steak House. Steve's Steak House serves steak, plus a choice of three vegetables. They don't have a lot of variety, but they have an immensely talented chef, and they buy only the best-quality ingredients. They are also 20% more expensive than The Omnistaurant.


In terms of build-it-yourself PC vs. stock Mac, this analogy makes sense. But what's the relevance to one proprietary smart watch vs. another proprietary smart watch? This isn't PC vs. Mac, it's Coke vs. Pepsi.

This is a thing that already exists (for what I assume are reasons, though I've seen no evidence to back that up) with a different logo and a new knob on the side. *shrug*
posted by Sys Rq at 8:45 AM on September 10, 2014


I mean why bother to look at my wrist when I've got it all right there in the HUD when I need it.

Because people generally look ridiculous in them and many of those around the Glass wearers probably don't like the idea that they can be recorded at any moment.

Watches, however, can be quite the status item. Glasses, not so much. They're a just a device designed and used to correct a physical deficiency (and I say that a person who has been wearing them since 4th grade)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on September 10, 2014


Get with the futurepast!

The future of technology lies in 8-bit emulation!
posted by aramaic at 8:54 AM on September 10, 2014


Ugly smart watches are just a way to get the public used to ugly wearables. After a couple years an ugly HUD won't be that distracting.
posted by mullacc at 8:57 AM on September 10, 2014


I just think it'd be weird to pile three phones on that little plastic tray restaurants give you.
Chili's has card swipers at every table now. I'll bet nicer places get portable ones to replace the leather booklet and allow you to split your own check.


The only thing I didn't see that I was half expecting is an improvement to Maps.
posted by soelo at 9:04 AM on September 10, 2014


The watch looks nice so far, but I don't see it being head and shoulders better than the current crop of Android devices, especially the moto. They all seem to share the same limitations of screen resolution, battery life, and clunky size. I think this is still a segment where we're a year or two out from a real hit device. Having a watch now though gives Apple skin in the game and a chance to improve for watch 2.

I remain skeptical of the smart watch segment in general.

This is my problem with the whole segment too. I think it's a relatively small niche, compared to phones and music players. Phones have trained a whole generation to not wear watches, now people should add a third or fourth device, at a pretty high cost premium? I'm not sure I see the value for any of these things yet. Right now smart watches, apple, moto, even the pebble, seem like too much cost for marginal benefits.
posted by bonehead at 9:07 AM on September 10, 2014


I have never used the Apple Watch, or even held it. But I have a really un-informed opinion about it anyway....see; all my other comments.
posted by judson at 9:23 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


As I read the comments here, I keep coming back to "No Wireless. Less Space Than A Nomad. Lame", which has got to be one of the most famously short-sighted dismissals in the tech world. The watch is interesting - admit that before dismissing it.

None of the other smartwatch efforts so far have even remotely tempted me, but this one is clearly better thought out and better polished. As with most v1.0 products, this is not for me - probably not for you either, if you read a retro text-heavy site like MeFi - but it'll get thinner, lighter, longer lived, easier to charge. So I'm inclined to wait and see.

The payments, though - this will make NFC payments a reality, to howls of outrage from all 18 of the Google Wallet users who were there first. And Apple is apparently getting a cut of the bank fees from every transaction (at no extra cost to customers or merchants), as well as preferential "card present" transaction cost rates as an incentive for the retailers. I bet payments will be big - really big.

And then there's the health monitoring stuff and the HomeKit stuff which was barely mentioned, aside from door keys at Starwood hotels. This is already the future, just unevenly distributed, to paraphrase Gibson.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ugly smart watches are just a way to get the public used to ugly wearables.

As a lady person who follows fashion at a distance, even when she does not embrace it, this is the essence of mainstreaming fringe fashion of any sort. People see it, think it's ugly, get used to it, and suddenly it's what everybody is wearing. What was ugly a few years ago is now sold in all the mall stores.

The fact that smartwatches are currently perceived as ugly doesn't indicate anything about where they'll be in three years, and I say that as a person with no immediate interest in a smartwatch.
posted by immlass at 9:25 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because people generally look ridiculous in them and many of those around the Glass wearers probably don't like the idea that they can be recorded at any moment.

The same kind of complaints were made about folks with Blackberries on their belt clips not too long ago. Now everyone has a smartphone.
posted by humanfont at 9:25 AM on September 10, 2014


And Apple is apparently getting a cut of the bank fees from every transaction

My understanding was the opposite - that Apple was actually assuming some of the fraud risk with these transaction and getting no cut of the transaction fees.
posted by GuyZero at 9:34 AM on September 10, 2014


The same kind of complaints were made about folks with Blackberries on their belt clips not too long ago. Now everyone has a smartphone.

I have no idea what you're talking about since almost everyone I know has had an iPhone or Droid since 2010 or so.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2014


I think humanfront meant like circa 2000 when having a Blackberry on a belt clip was unusual.
posted by GuyZero at 9:45 AM on September 10, 2014


Also, belt clips remain hideous.
posted by GuyZero at 9:45 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


The same kind of complaints were made about folks with Blackberries on their belt clips not too long ago. Now everyone has a smartphone.

Yeah, but the belt clips still look silly.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:45 AM on September 10, 2014


Yeah, but people with blackberries on their belt clip still look stupid.
posted by biffa at 9:51 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah poop.
posted by biffa at 9:52 AM on September 10, 2014


My understanding was the opposite - that Apple was actually assuming some of the fraud risk with these transaction and getting no cut of the transaction fees.

They negotiated NFC transactions as card present transactions which is a huge discount in itself (2.5% down to 1.5%) as well as shifting the liability back onto Apple rather than the merchant. It also negotiated the card present rate down a good 15-25bp which means it could be as low as 1.25% swipe fees for merchants or Apple can just take the discount as its cut.

The thing is, in this particular situation, the payment industry actually needs Apple way more than Apple needs the payment industry. For years the banks have been trying to tokenize payments. You don't have to worry about some web programmer at some random third party contractor fucking up and letting a few dozen million credit card numbers into the wild because that jackass's bug infested software never sees the number in the first place. Target gets malware? Who gives a shit. That's their problem. They don't get the card number anymore! There's literally going to be nothing there to steal besides a few encrypted transaction records.

Apple gave them a gift by assuming liability on the Apple Pay transactions. The underlying concepts the tech is based on is solid so I wouldn't expect much fraud there anyway. Everyone gets a hell of a lot out of this deal. The payment processors finally stop jackasses from releasing credit card numbers, merchants don't have to deal with PCI compliance standards, Apple gets to insert itself into a good proportion of transactions and take a small cut while consumers get a secure, convenient way to pay in seconds which sidesteps all the jackassery of retail institution policy.
posted by Talez at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


The ease of switching out watch bands is a very Apple thing, and allows for some interesting ideas. What if one wanted to use it as a pocket watch, or hang it on a lanyard? It's trivial to take off the watch bands and put it on an appropriate holder. And what if one wanted to wear it as a brooch? Same thing.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:08 AM on September 10, 2014


Blackberries on their belt clips

...which was the style at the time.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:11 AM on September 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


Can't you just wind it?

I'm having a vision of a future child encountering a 20th century analog watch for the first time, and wondering why turning the crown doesn't zoom in or switch apps.
posted by malocchio at 10:12 AM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I switched from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note last year because the iPhone screen was so tiny and I can't see close up without reading glasses and the Note was like AWESOME I CAN ACTUALLY READ STUFF HOORAY! Now that iPhone has a similarly sized phone... I will probably stick with the Note, because holy crap Android is so much better. Like, whole new universes that I didn't know existed opened up when I left the Appleverse.

I mean seriously, still no microSD slot??
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:13 AM on September 10, 2014


As I read the comments here, I keep coming back to "No Wireless. Less Space Than A Nomad. Lame", which has got to be one of the most famously short-sighted dismissals in the tech world. The watch is interesting - admit that before dismissing it.

This is essentially where I'm at. I'm dismissing it for personal reasons -- I hate wearing watches & whenever I've tried, I inevitably smash them to bits within 3 weeks or so, and from what I've read it doesn't solve a single problem I have. But. I kinda glanced at the iPod then forgot about it for almost a year, then got one just to use for on-hold music at my small business, because the CD player we had in the elec. closet was dying. It got used for on-hold music for about 3 days before I realized what an amazing gadget it was & how it was on the cusp of utterly freeing me from the radio, which is a thing I despised by 2002.

I don't doubt that this watch could do well for Apple with a different demographic, and I won't discount the idea that I'll circle back around at version 2 or 3 & say "waitaminute... it does WHAT?"

I'm deeply saddened by the demise of the classic iPod. The fact that for the entire span of the last 13 years you could not only store huge amounts of music on them (loved the actual mechanical spinning wheel the best) but that they were also basically tiny portable hard drives. From about 2003 on up until 2010, I kept a stripped-down install of OS X on one & an install of DiskWarrior so I could boot any Mac anywhere from it via the option key. When Apple added Journaling to the file system that wasn't such a big deal any more, but you just can't do that with the iPod line up they have now. I'll miss its functionality as a portable drive when my 160 craps out. Seems to be going strong for now, & if I had the extra funbux I'd buy a backup right now while I could. It's very handy to know if I want to take 20 or 30 gig of files somewhere, it's a reach away.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:26 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


In ironically-related news, those of us with small screens can rejoice, as Apple have (finally) joined the 2000s, and launched an honest-to-god mobile website.
posted by schmod at 10:39 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


1- The watch isn't waterproof. Pebble remains the only manufacturer to get this right.

I don't understand why it isn't waterproof - it charges wirelessly, the crown rotation is measured optically, there aren't electrical or mechanical parts that clearly need to penetrate the inside from the outside, so... wtf?

The overall design is clearly favorable to being waterproof-able... maybe they're 95% there, didn't quite manage it, and water resistance will be one of the NEW! MUST UPGRADE! features for the next version?

(The capacatence (touch) sensors won't work while it's underwater, but "water-resistant" doesn't mean "scuba gear" :) .)
posted by anonymisc at 11:00 AM on September 10, 2014


So here's how I think an Apple Watch could fit into people's lives. I'm not yet convinced it's something that I, personally, would want. But I can see the logic behind it.

There's a history of people using two computing devices: A small device that's easily accessible and used for quick tasks, and a big device that's more cumbersome and used for more involved tasks.

Around 10 or 15 years ago, people with both a desktop and a laptop might keep the laptop by the couch for quick web browsing and e-mail. Their desktop, tucked away in an office, was for editing photos & videos, household budgeting, etc.

Then laptops became capable enough to supplant desktops as the big device for doing serious work on. Smartphones (and, briefly, netbooks) became the small device, for short e-mail replies and light reading. (Especially early touch-screen smartphones, circa 2007 - 2010.)

And as tablets and large-screen phones have become more capable, they're replacing laptops for more and more everyday computing tasks -- if they're not the big device, then they're at least the medium-plus device. But the size of large-screen phones (or, if you must, phablets) makes them a little more cumbersome. My small-screen iPhone is always easily accessible. But a big-screen phone can tend to be just a little more out of reach: in a bag instead of your pants pocket, back at your desk instead of with you in the break room, or just harder to use when one of your hands is full.

If your phone is physically large enough to be your big computing device, that leaves an opening for a smaller, more readily-accessible device. Like a watch.

So I can see a large-screen phone and a smart watch being a useful combination of big device, small device. It's a little serendipitous that Apple announced both those products on the same day. A watch can make up for the difficulties of a big phone. But, of course, since the watch is tethered to the phone, that assumes a reasonable range: If the watch loses major functionality when your phone is a few rooms away, that seriously undercuts the usefulness of the watch.
posted by Banknote of the year at 11:02 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think they went in a little bit of a wrong direction with the Apple watch's display technology. I really don't think that LCD/AMOLED is really the direction to go for wearable computing. I think it would have been better for Apple to put money into color e-ink technology which has far better battery life prospects. Combine that with the Bluetooth LE and all of a sudden you're looking at a hell of an efficient smartwatch.

You'd go from battery life measured in hours to battery life measured in weeks.

They seem to have thrown everything including the kitchen sink into the Apple watch. It's big, it's heavy and it sucks power. I think it'll get a lot more reasonable with every new iteration but it doesn't really have that magic feeling. Apple has traditionally not been so much about compromise and this watch feels full of them.

Which is a pity because the digital crown is such a ridiculously simple and elegant control mechanism for a smartwatch reminiscent of the original iPod's scroll wheel.
posted by Talez at 11:18 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Which is a pity because the digital crown is such a ridiculously simple and elegant control mechanism for a smartwatch reminiscent of the original iPod's scroll wheel. 1997 Blackberry.
posted by GuyZero at 11:20 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean seriously, still no microSD slot??

Apparently you are supposed to rent space in the cloud rather than purchase actual physical storage. Makes sense for Apple but not for the rest of us. And no consideration for those of us in an area where the cloud is about as reliable as the memories of a former linebacker.

My top two online forums are MeFi and a music forum. There are people (like me) with large music collections. Hell, I'm a pauper compared to some of the regulars. But they're all appalled at both the deletion of the iPod and the prevalence of the cloud. Apple obviously doesn't care about those of us who like to be able to shift from Jackie du Pre to John Coltrane to Judas Priest in a single session. When they think of music collections they envision a bunch of pop singles and maybe that free new U2 album Cupertino prolly paid a lot of $$$ for.

A microSD slot would be a boon to anyone who wants more space for music or movies but Apple and the other big media companies want the revenue to stream.
posted by Ber at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


MicroSD slots are actually a huge pain in the ass for app developers, just ask any Android developer. Apple has myriad reasons to not include them, but being huge cloud lovers is honestly not one of them.
posted by GuyZero at 11:25 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


MicroSD slots are actually a huge pain in the ass for app developers, just ask any Android developer. Apple has myriad reasons to not include them, but being huge cloud lovers is honestly not one of them.

Charging an extra $200 premium to increase phone storage with extra GB (which would cost users a mere $20 if a SD slot was available) seems like, if not the original design reason, at least the motive behind perpetuating that absence. Holy carp Apple's memory mark-up is a ripoff.
posted by anonymisc at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


MicroSD cards are an annoyance and useful only to a few. Otherwise, it's just another thing to keep track and inevitably lose.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:34 AM on September 10, 2014


What? For $20 I went from 16GB storage to 80GB storage capacity. Card stays in the phone, so nothing to keep track of or lose.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Otherwise, it's just another thing to keep track and inevitably lose.

You can't lose it - it's inside your phone. Everyone I know uses the SD slot as an after-market massive memory upgrade, not as floppy disks to be constantly swapped in and out.
posted by anonymisc at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The trouble is that app developers need to treat them like floppy disks because they _could_ get swapped out at any point, regardless of whether anyone actually does it. I could go on about it but suffice it to say they're a pain to deal with regardless of Apple's redonk markup on internal storage.
posted by GuyZero at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Personal techbology starts by solving a problem or enabling users to have an experience. Concerns over fashion and appearance get resolved if the benefit is there. Blackberry and other early smart phones and pagers made their users look awkward and enabled behaviors contrary to established social norms. Yet these were not indicators that smartphones would not be successful consumer products. HUD's fashion challenges will be reduced and benefits will grow until most consumers have a face computer and camera.
posted by humanfont at 11:46 AM on September 10, 2014


tl;dr: Resistance is futile.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2014


Will nobody think of the developers?!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:05 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


My point is not "woe are the developers" but that there's a ton of UX bullshit associated with removable storage that Apple would rather not have to show to users.
posted by GuyZero at 12:10 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The one thing that made my ears perk up was the integration of vibrations for turn-by-turn navigation. Google Maps has been a godsend in getting around unfamilar places, it would be good to not look so dorky getting around.
posted by mazola at 12:26 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Curious if Siri/maps voice in iOS8 will finally be able to correctly pronounce Spanish street names.

Also, for people that travel outside of the US, will the LTE bands on the new model be supported worldwide if I get AT&T model?

I have an unlocked AT&T 5 now and whenever I go to Mexico or Europe I only get 3G.
posted by wcfields at 12:29 PM on September 10, 2014


The turn by turn vibrations do sound neat. They could reasonably be incorporated into a phone, as well, I would think.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:33 PM on September 10, 2014


a hell of an efficient smartwatch.

You have essentially described the Pebble: e-paper screen, week-long battery, etc.... Were the pebble the Apple product announced yesterday (with a bit more Apple polish, perhaps), I think this conversation would be very different.
posted by bonehead at 12:34 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


A watch guy rather likes the watch.

"Apple got more details right on their watch than the vast majority of Swiss and Asian brands do with similarly priced watches, and those details add up to a really impressive piece of design"

posted by epo at 12:47 PM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


You have essentially described the Pebble: e-paper screen, week-long battery, etc.... Were the pebble the Apple product announced yesterday (with a bit more Apple polish, perhaps), I think this conversation would be very different.

Pebble is still 1-bit black and white and uses Bluetooth 2.x as a heavy lifting connection.
posted by Talez at 12:59 PM on September 10, 2014


> The only thing I didn't see that I was half expecting is an improvement to Maps.

That was demonstrated as one of the iOS 8 features during the WWDC keynote. The September show is just for hardware (the salable products, not software and infrastructure).

> 1- The watch isn't waterproof. Pebble remains the only manufacturer to get this right.

Kilobuck-grade divers watches rated for 300m from Rolex and Tag Heuer are designed to be worn during deep sea dives, and are water resistant, not waterproof. Timex' $30 mechanical watches available at Target are also water resistant and will only last a couple-three trips through a hotel shower before seizing up.

Surprisingly (or not, considering), there are multiple ISO standards for water resistance as pertains to wrist watches. Among other things, watch manufacturers can't market their products as waterproof if they want ISO certification.

As a baseline, the phrase "water resistant" means little more than "has working seals, will not corrode right away". To get an idea of how water resistant your water resistant watch is, you have to read the fine print or, well, test to destruction.

What's come out in the press so far is that the Apple Watch is intended to survive showers but you shouldn't swim while wearing it. So it'll probably be waterproof rated to 3-5 ATM (a.k.a. 30-50M, which contrary to appearances does not mean "meters under water" in a literal sense) -- will survive a dunking, but don't make a habit of it.

No watches are truly waterproof, meaning invulnerable to water leaks for indefinite exposure to extreme pressure levels. $350 for a truly waterproof watch would be a bargain.
posted by ardgedee at 1:05 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Since there's not going to be a separate post about the U2 album that was inserted into iTunes yesterday, here are a couple of things about that:

"U2’s Songs of Innocence Is Totally Gorgeous, Totally Boring" (Vulture)
"A Sort of iCloud: 11 Takeaways From U2’s New, Free, Apple-Foisted Album, ‘Songs of Innocence’" (Grantland)
"U2’s Forgettable Fire" (New Yorker)
posted by oakroom at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2014


I don't think the pebble is a perfect device either, but it's got a number of details right which all of the big companies seem to have missed. Power consumption/lifetime is the top of the list.
posted by bonehead at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2014




What the hell?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on September 10, 2014


"U2’s Forgettable Fire" (New Yorker):
“Song for Someone”: Bono’s opening lines in this tender douche-fest are “You got a face not spoiled by beauty, I have some scars from where I’ve been. You got eyes that can see right through me, you’re not afraid of anything they’ve seen.” As an alternative to Google Translate, Apple will be releasing the Pick-Up Artists Translation Tool for Tools. It will be baked into the iPhone 7, which will be available only in whatever country U2 moves its tax haven to next. Not as good as “Blow.”
I was amused.
posted by octothorpe at 1:47 PM on September 10, 2014


I think the demise of Macworld is a print media story, not an Apple story.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:57 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but still…
posted by mazola at 1:59 PM on September 10, 2014


No, this is still ridiculous, having a watch that is tethered to your phone. I mean, does everything that you wear eventually have to be tethered to your smartphone, sending your performance or whatever else data to all parts of the Internet?!

Take an extreme example; I wonder how long before {google searches} oh no no no NO! (probably NSFW)

The world is truly mad. And some things should NOT be connected to the grid.

Where's my sundial...
posted by Wordshore at 1:59 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


... there's not going to be a separate post about the U2 album that was inserted into iTunes yesterday ...

Darn. I was saving that tweet - maybe from John Siracusa? - about how U2 and Apple were united on stage by their deep love of Irish tax law.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:17 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tim Cook, announced that the new U2 album, “Songs of Innocence,” was being added automatically to everyone’s iTunes library. That’s right, even if you didn’t ask for the new U2, it showed up in your iTunes music library.

Arghhh, it did! Get it off me! Get it off me!
posted by Flashman at 2:21 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mine showed up under Various artists, not U2. Tricky iTunes, tricky.
posted by smackfu at 2:35 PM on September 10, 2014


Douglas Adams was good on tech and wrote about digital watches in Hitch Hikers...
posted by Wordshore at 3:09 PM on September 10, 2014


Timex' $30 mechanical watches available at Target are also water resistant and will only last a couple-three trips through a hotel shower before seizing up.

I dunno, I've got a $30 timex watch that is on its second strap and its second battery (must be at least 4 years old) that I wear in the shower and go swimming with etc.

On topic, I would be frustrated by the apple watch if I couldn't wear it in the shower---but I'm also not thrilled about the "probably need to plug it in every night" since then you can't use it as a wake up alarm, which I think would be nice. (And I check the time at night with my current timex if I wake up in the middle of the night.)
posted by leahwrenn at 3:21 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt: I wear a watch, actually. Until it died, I carried a pocket watch almost everywhere -- and I think this Apple Watch would make a sweet pocket watch!

This. I haven't put anything on my wrist for years (and I'm a 65-year-old geezer). I did use a pocket watch for quite a few years and liked it. I have no desire to flaunt a Rolex, an Apple Watch, or any other kind of bling. I can see where the Apple Watch might have its uses, but I'll wait until (a) there's a pocket version (chain and all), and (b) most of the functionality works without having an iPhone in the other pocket.
posted by beagle at 4:02 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't get it. So you'd like to pull one thing out of your pocket rather than the other thing out of your pocket?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:09 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't get it. So you'd like to pull one thing out of your pocket rather than the other thing out of your pocket?

Because, (a) geezer, (b) waiting until it works most of the time without iPhone. And it's smaller. And what Wenestvedt said.
posted by beagle at 4:53 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The best thing about Apple's announcement is that it means we're getting another episode of U Talkin' U2 To Me?
posted by painquale at 5:25 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't get it. So you'd like to pull one thing out of your pocket rather than the other thing out of your pocket?

Yep: the new iPhone is nearly as big as the paperback copy of "Bridge on the River Kwai" sitting on my desk, but a pocket watch is just the right size for easily hauling out and promptly stowing again.

Can you imagine wrestling that iPhone 6 Plus out of your jeans pocket? Hah! And a ocket atch is on a nice chain so you don't even have to wriggle your hand down into your Skinny Jeans: hook your finger into the chain and viola!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:52 PM on September 10, 2014


I've got a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in an Otter Box and I take it out of the pocket of my skinny jeans countless times every day. It's really not that big. ;)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:02 PM on September 10, 2014


matthowie: "I would LOVE to be able to go for a run without my phone on me, using the watch to measure distance and bluetooth music to my headphones"

Timex has you sorted: Timex One GPS+ review .

Does what you said above, plus can do live online tracking and send SOS messages via on board 3G.

Can't link directly to product site, Timex doesn't want non-North Americans to find out about it.
posted by trialex at 9:08 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Apparently you are supposed to rent space in the cloud rather than purchase actual physical storage. Makes sense for Apple but not for the rest of us. And no consideration for those of us in an area where the cloud is about as reliable as the memories of a former linebacker.

Here's what is happening. Corporations who trade in Intellectual Property (i.e. music, movies, books, etc. etc.) are making a big, big, push to create viable alternatives to IP piracy. Services like Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Music/Movies/Television, Amazon digital marketplaces; they are all catching up nearly a decade later to consumer demand.

People WILL pay for access to content they want. And it has taken this long for the lawyers and bean-counters to come up with the deals behind the scenes to give people access to the content they want using technology. It happened with the analog cassette tape, it happened with CD's, it happened with VHS and DVD's and now Blu-Ray, and it's going to continue as a wave of "consumer friendly options" as time goes on.

The question is whether it will continue to allow originality and smaller niche markets to flourish, or close them out completely.
posted by daq at 10:50 PM on September 10, 2014


David Letterman skewered the Apple Watch in his monologue tonight. Basically the joke (in the form of a short video) was that you have to log in, go through two-step authentication, and wait for the system to hit a bunch of servers all over the globe before it finally delivers the current time back to the watch face.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2014


Much like the watch, Apple Pay also seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

I will own an iphone 6S next year, however. I just highly doubt Apple Pay will be an important part of it to me.
posted by modernnomad at 2:41 AM on September 11, 2014


Who is U2?
posted by octothorpe at 3:30 AM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


> Much like the watch, Apple Pay also seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

The op-ed piece seems a bit astroturfy to me, since the pay-through-phone process it complains about is a generic one that already exists through other companies' phones. It does not single out anything that's specific to Apple, but holds Apple up as the vanguard of tap-to-pay generally.

If it's not astroturfing, I guess it's a sign that Apple can bring existing tech things (portable music players, tap-to-pay, application process management, master-slave device linking) to a general public in ways they can be happy using, or else it's a sign that Google, Samsung, et al are doing a really shit job at implementing and promoting useful features. (Or possibly that they're doing an indifferent job and waiting for Apple to build the bandwagon around it for them to ride on, but all those companies are too competitive for that to seem probable.)
posted by ardgedee at 6:10 AM on September 11, 2014


I'd be surprised if you literally have to have the phone on you at all times to do anything on the watch. For example, I'm guessing you can go for a run and the watch will track all the stuff a Fitbit already tracks without a phone. Obviously you'd need the phone around to send text messages and stuff like that.

But that's just a guess. The problem is that Apple hasn't told us yet what you can still accomplish without the phone around.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:40 AM on September 11, 2014


For example, I'm guessing you can go for a run and the watch will track all the stuff a Fitbit already tracks without a phone.

It should be sufficient for walkers, but runners generally need GPS or a footpod with accelerometers.
posted by smackfu at 7:08 AM on September 11, 2014


But that's just a guess. The problem is that Apple hasn't told us yet what you can still accomplish without the phone around.

Which is one of the oddest things about the annoucement. Usually Apple has all its ducks in a row and is happy to speechify about how awesome and groundbreaking the tech specs are (whether they are or not). Obviously they're still working out a few things, but very odd.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 AM on September 11, 2014


Much like the watch, Apple Pay also seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

It hasn't been a problem for the end user because they've been protected from fraud liability. Everyone else in the chain, it's a pretty big problem.
Credit card and debit card fraud resulted in losses amounting to $11.27 billion during 2012. Card issuers and merchants incurred 63% and 37% of those losses, respectively, with the following transactional breakdown:
Not to mention the billions of man hours that go along with reissuing credit cards every time the latest asshole gets hacked and lets another few million CC numbers get out.
posted by Talez at 7:14 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sure, but so long as the end user is isolated from those problems, they won't drive a change in user behaviour to abandon cards in favour of phones for payment. This is even more the case in countries that have already switched to chip & pin, since the fiddliness of the signature is long gone.

HOlding a phone over a wireless payment terminal and relying on the fingerprint sensor (which at least on my iphone 5S fails whenever my thumb is a bit sweaty) just doesn't seem a meaningful advantage over the existing rfid enabled cards that require a PIN for transactions over $100 and nothing for those under ( I realize different countries have different set ups and this may not be the case in yours).

Certainly having "no wallet" would be cool, but people are still going to have to carry ID, bank card, work ID, etc I would assume, so the net gain seems to be minimal. Credit cards take up no meaningful weight, with chip & pin are very secure, are fraud protected for the end user, and cannot 'run out of battery'.

Apple Pay is cool tech, no doubt. I guess I just have hard time seeing the incentive for mass adoption to people like my mother (who nonetheless loves her iphone). The possible advantages to the consumer (no cards; feels futuristic) seem relatively minor, and outweighed by the possible disadvantages (can't buy something b/c no power in your phone; place you want to buy something from doesn't have a wireless terminal and accepts std cards only; leave your phone on your desk at work and you have no credit card). The disadvantages can all be mitigated by carrying a regular card in addition, but then you're down to "feels futuristic" as the main driver of adoption.
posted by modernnomad at 7:35 AM on September 11, 2014


Usually Apple has all its ducks in a row and is happy to speechify about how awesome and groundbreaking the tech specs are (whether they are or not).

Apple hire the former head of Burberry to run retail. They had a large number of fashion-world people at the launch announcement. I saw more pictures of Gwen Stefani at the launch than the usual tech bloggers.

The Apple Watch is a fashion item. That it does anything is sufficient. The specifics of what it does are irrelevant. Burberry is a $3.7B USD company with tiny distribution and high prices. I'm pretty sure we have a good idea what Apple's forward accessories strategy is. And it doesn't have anything to do with features & functions.
posted by GuyZero at 7:36 AM on September 11, 2014


HOlding a phone over a wireless payment terminal and relying on the fingerprint sensor (which at least on my iphone 5S fails whenever my thumb is a bit sweaty) just doesn't seem a meaningful advantage over the existing rfid enabled cards that require a PIN for transactions over $100 and nothing for those under ( I realize different countries have different set ups and this may not be the case in yours).

Having been annoyed to go through the various cards in my wallet, just to get the credit card, while the phone is a large item not easy to miss, I can see the appeal of phone paying.

Not doubt this varies person to person, but I can see people liking the ability to just swipe their phone (an not answer a bunch of questions on the PIN pad) while having all their data hidden.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 AM on September 11, 2014


See, to me, the big deal with Apple Pay isn't that you can pay with the iPhone 6. It's that you can pay with the watch.
posted by Andrhia at 7:55 AM on September 11, 2014


The arrogance of forcing a new album onto customers' playlists is hilarious. Why not just make it available if customers decide to add it? So tone-deaf and obnoxious.

Why is U2’s latest album on your iPhone? How to remove Apple’s publicity stunt:

How do you actually get rid of the album? Turns out that’s not as easy as it should be.

Users can always erase individual songs from their device, which in itself is a less-than-obvious process. To delete, swipe left on the song and press delete...

Once they’re deleted, they’ll go back into the cloud, but still remain in your album list. If you detest seeing U2 even show up on your artist list, you can hide the band by hiding all of your music from the cloud...

However, even if you delete those songs, they may be automatically re-downloaded if automatic downloads are turned on for a user’s iTunes account. Here’s how to disable that option on your computer or see below from your phone...

After that, users have to actually fire up their computer to launch iTunes, and hide the item from their library. There is no way to permanently delete the album.


MacWorld UK:

Step 5 of 5: How to delete the U2 album

What if you don’t want to listen to the new album, how can you remove it from your music collection? You could just open iTunes on your Mac, locate the album and hit delete. To remove it from your iPhone or iPad, go to Music and switch off “Show all Music”. This way you won’t see any tracks that aren’t actually on your iOS device. This is likely to be an annoyance next time you want to grab a track or two from your collection via iCloud though as you won’t be able to see them there to download.

posted by mediareport at 8:17 AM on September 11, 2014


Credit cards take up no meaningful weight, with chip & pin are very secure, are fraud protected for the end user, and cannot 'run out of battery'.

Ahahahahah. No.

The reason why Apple Pay (and the similar schemes that will come out like it) is far, far more secure than existing chip and pin is because there's no more two track data to exploit. You can't just compromise a terminal, get the PIN, clone a magstripe, take it to Bulgaria and empty the customer's account at an ATM over there. The entire process is tokenized. Every transaction is unique and the merchant (and the terminals) don't ever see the customer's banking details required to make cloned cards and empty accounts. Terminal is compromised and hostile to credit cards? Who cares because you're only authorizing a payment not giving the merchant a convenient file with all of the necessary information to create a brand new magstripe in milliseconds.
posted by Talez at 8:37 AM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: "The problem was that the user experience sucked."

What is this nonsense? The user experience is you tap or wave and you're done. Of course, I fully expect Apple to try to patent this.
posted by meehawl at 8:49 AM on September 11, 2014


What is this nonsense? The user experience is you tap or wave and you're done. Of course, I fully expect Apple to try to patent this.

Prior to HCE being implemented in Kitkat, the only way you could even use Google Wallet was to be a Sprint customer. How's that for user experience? It's not just the front end, it's also the back end of relationship management that also affects user experience.
posted by Talez at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


eh, no one's arguing that chip & pin cards are not defeatable, only that they are much more secure. Even the article you linked to goes on to say “In Canada we’re lucky that the vast majority of our transactions done day-to-day are with chip-and-PIN, which are much more secure,” he said, adding however that some gas stations’ pumps are still relying on the old magnetic-swipe method that is more vulnerable to hacking.


It was the magstripe cards that were the issue.

But yes, I take your point - chip & pin is not bulletproof. But my point is that so long as end users are insulated, fear of fraud is unlikely to drive radical consumer change. Shopping online is not bulletproof, handing your card to a waiter is not bulletproof, and yet consumers perform these actions in the billions every day simply because the risk to them is infinitesimal.

I already pay for my purchases with an rfid-enabled card, so I definitely get the wireless factor as a bit of convenience. If anything, the flakiness of the touch ID would slow me down - I live in a sub-tropical climate, and so I would estimate my touch ID fails 1/10 times.. that's enough that it pisses me off, and would continue to do so if I was then trying to use it for payments too.

Still, though I am far from convinced this will get mass adoption, kudos to Apple for pushing it - anything that moves the US away from swipe & sign is a step in the right direction.
posted by modernnomad at 8:58 AM on September 11, 2014


Brandon Blatcher: "Wonder where the camera will go then."

*In* your eye. Actually, probably will be your eye. iEye... it's iNevitable.
posted by meehawl at 9:11 AM on September 11, 2014


I would actually like my eyes to be cameras, because I'd be taking endless photos. Apple would design nice eyes. Definitely wait for the 2nd or 3rd revision though.

Apple Pay will take off because the company is good at this stuff. You and I may grumble about it particular aspects of it, much like we do with iTunes, but the general public will love it. It'll be on the cover of various magazines and sites next year. There will also be countless articles asking "how hard is it swipe a card people?!" Those columns will do nothing except take up space and get some people paid for writing them, so I guess they aren't all bad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:22 AM on September 11, 2014


iWatch advert
posted by Wordshore at 10:24 AM on September 11, 2014


My iPod Classic is currently ensconced on an iHome clock radio, because iPhones can't use a whole playlist as an alarm sound, only a specific song. (Seriously, Apple, why could old iPods do that but current iOS devices cannot? I want to wake up to music, but I don't want to know in advance what song it will be so my brain can't anticipate it.)
posted by dnash at 10:32 AM on September 11, 2014


*In* your eye. Actually, probably will be your eye. iEye... it's iNevitable.

iSight
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on September 11, 2014


The griping from the youngs about the U2 album appearing in people's libraries is hilarious. Poor dears.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:53 AM on September 11, 2014




> Why is U2’s latest album on your iPhone? How to remove Apple’s publicity stunt:

TRASH - U2 - Songs Of Innocence - 01 The Miracle (Of Johnny Ramone).m4a
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:40 PM on September 11, 2014


I'm glad I've lived long enough to see U2 go from being an angry young anti-establishment band to corporate dad rock to a bad joke which confuses and angers teens.

If I was part of Negativland, I'd feel a deep and wonderful serenity today.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:45 PM on September 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Canada already has a pretty widespread tap and pay system that seems to work pretty well. At a Loblaws grocery store e.g., you just hold your debit card up to a reader, it goes 'bleep' and that's it, you're done.
posted by Flashman at 2:45 PM on September 11, 2014


Tap-and-pay is the same technology, just with a regular NFC chip instead of a fancy phone emulating an NFC chip. Those terminals are probably trivially upgradeable to support apple pay.
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on September 11, 2014




Lunchtime, doubly so.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:56 PM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


NFC payments are lots of fun.
Confirmed:
– Cardholder: gender, first name and last name
– PAN (Primary Account Number)
– Expiration date
– Magnetic stripe data
– Transaction history
This is all of the stuff you can dump straight off the NFC card. No encryption. No security. Just ask for it and it'll dump it for you. You don't even need the card. You could surreptitiously wander up to someone in a crowd with a tiny reader and hit the back pocket. Brute force the (1000 possibility) CVV and you're done. You now have a fully capable magstripe card without even having to look at the card.

This isn't the same as Apple Pay. Apple Pay uses tokenization. The details literally never leave the phone. You try to dump the EMV data and it literally doesn't work. It assumes that every other part of the payment process besides Apple and your payment network/issuing bank is hostile and will do nasty things with your information. Every other way of doing payments assumes that people along the way will be trusted whether it be the merchant, the reader, the waiter.
posted by Talez at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


OK, NFC-protocol-wise the terminals are the same. Yes, using tokenization is like a trillion times better.
posted by GuyZero at 4:13 PM on September 11, 2014


I really really really hope everybody else in the mobile payments game steals/licenses the tokenization technique as fast as humanly possible. Not having to worry about hackers lifting my CC details because a store didn't give two shits about security is, depressingly, a game-changer.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:19 PM on September 11, 2014


CyberPunk Culture: 1993-2014
posted by homunculus at 9:12 PM on September 11, 2014


This morning I grumpily came to work early so I could stop at Radio Shack (which mysteriously opens at 8 am) and buy their last iPod Classic in stock. Last night I was trying to find them in all the regular electronics retailers (i.e., looking online to see who had them in stock still), but then I thought-- who would EVER buy one at Radio Shack? Therefore that's where I should buy!

I had a nice chat with the cashier about how stupid retiring it is, and how I love being half asleep with my ipod under the covers (so the light doesn't blind me) and using the clickwheel to skip ahead without needing to see the screen. I realize that protesting Apple's choices by paying them a chunk of my money is problematic, but. Maybe the new one (and my older, glitchy one) will miraculously last until someone else comes up with a non-touchscreen mp3 player capable of holding all my music at once.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:41 AM on September 12, 2014


I never had a Classic Ipod but I did have a mini and you could work the controls without looking at it pretty easily. I've never had a music player since that I could do that with.
posted by octothorpe at 6:28 AM on September 12, 2014


Looks like stores are starting to run out of whatever iPod Classic stock they have. Am tempted to get one off Craigslist or eBay, but the few listings I've seen always mention how many songs come with the unit, and I keep thinking that they're stolen and being sold off.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:03 AM on September 12, 2014


Usually it's because the owner can't be bothered to wipe it before selling, and because they figure loading it with music is a favor to the buyer they can charge a little more for.
posted by ardgedee at 10:14 AM on September 12, 2014


The very first-gen iPod minis were little gems, and I nearly made my first million -- I had an anodizer all lined up and a campus retailer ready for some burnt-orange iPods, but I couldn't get the damn click wheel out.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:30 AM on September 12, 2014


Okay, I wondered about the absence of Touch ID on the Apple watch - how would that work with secure payments? - so I'll put this here:

Rene Ritchie: Watch uses passcode to authorize Pay. Authorized for as long as skin contact is maintained. If taken off, need to re-enter pin.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:58 AM on September 12, 2014




Why?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:14 PM on September 12, 2014


Because they have billions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:36 PM on September 12, 2014


'Cause kids dig that rock'n'roll thing.
posted by octothorpe at 12:41 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rene Ritchie: Watch uses passcode to authorize Pay. Authorized for as long as skin contact is maintained. If taken off, need to re-enter pin.

Whoa.
posted by Night_owl at 12:48 PM on September 12, 2014


Ok, haven't seen anyone post anything about this stuff yet, but I was just curious and looked at Apple's website to learn more about the Apple Watch. Here's some of the stuff I found very interesting, and possibly changed my mind about wanting on (I am now really interested in having an Apple Watch, after just recently buying an iPhone 5s).

1) The watch will act like a speaker/microphone for your phone, so kind of like a bluetooth headset, just on your wrist, not your head. I like this idea, as I hate having things stuck to my head if I don't have to (I wear glasses, so that's more than enough).

Also, you can "mute" calls by simply covering the watch, which is a great feature if you have to talk to someone else while you are also on the phone. This is SOOO much better than people with bluetooth headsets, who look like crazy people and tend to TALK REALLY LOUDLY for some reason when they are on their phones. I have found that the microphone on the iPhone is really really good and you can talk in a rather quiet voice and the other person on the other side will hear you quite well. The speakerphone option works better than any other speaker phone function on a smartphone I have seen, and I use it regularly. Apple has done a lot of work on audio pickup and compression it would seem.

2) According to the features list, if you leave your phone at home, you can still listen to the music that is loaded on that phone while running/jogging. No clue how this works, but apparently you don't have to carry your phone with you. You can also control what your phone is playing, see what it is playing by looking at the watch, instead of having to pull out your phone.

3) iPhone camera remote. You can control the camera of your phone from the watch. Now you can be in the pictures you take. You can also set the camera timer from the watch as well. Way cool.

4) Siri integration. Meh, I haven't used Siri much, but that's kind of cool that you can say "text friend A" and it asks you what you'd like to send, then asks you if it got it correct before sending. Really cool hands free feature, if you ask me.

5) Text and email viewing, with the ability to use preloaded responses if you want, or with e-mail mark messages as read or unread, or delete them. Way cool.

6) Activity App. I have the Nike+ Move app on my iPhone, to track my daily walking, and it's "okay" but sometimes not very accurate. Since my phone is in my pocket a lot, it has to guess a lot of times whether I am running or walking or just bouncing at my desk. With the watch, it would have a much better and more accurate assessment of what I am actually doing, I would think.

7) The wallet thing is "eh" at least for the places I usually shop. Eventually this stuff will trickle down to the corner shops and bars I go to, but until then, it's just the latest new thing.


So as I was typing up this post, my phone rang and my girlfriend was calling me. I had to stop what I was going, pull my phone out, look who it was, then answer the phone and put it up to me head. After reading about the features of the Apple Watch, I am dreaming of the day when that same thing will happen, and I don't even have to move my hands to glance down and a) see who is calling, b) answer the call, and c) continue typing WITH BOTH HANDS, because I won't have to hold my phone up to my head.
posted by daq at 2:46 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


According to the features list, if you leave your phone at home, you can still listen to the music that is loaded on that phone while running/jogging. No clue how this works, but apparently you don't have to carry your phone with you.

I assume this is with some sort of wireless headphones? I really hope this isn't leading to people walking around playing music out of their watches. I'm also hoping the "walkie-talkie" feature and other forms of people using speaker phone in public don't catch on.
posted by Gary at 3:14 PM on September 12, 2014


It's going to have bluetooth capability, so you could use wireless headphones.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:28 PM on September 12, 2014


I assume this is with some sort of wireless headphones? I really hope this isn't leading to people walking around playing music out of their watches. I'm also hoping the "walkie-talkie" feature and other forms of people using speaker phone in public don't catch on.

Well, people already do that, at least where I am. I see people walking around holding their phones like service trays, talking into the bottom of them while in speakerphone mode, talking really loud because they can't be bothered to either use the headphones, or because they think the other person can't hear them if they don't PROJECT LIKE THEY ARE ON STAGE.

At least if it's on their wrist, maybe they'll use headphones or a headset.

But, again, freeing up both hands without adding clutter to my head (another reason I laughed at Google Glasses) is a win for me at least. YMMV
posted by daq at 3:38 PM on September 12, 2014


It's going to have bluetooth capability, so you could use wireless headphones.

Bluetooth low energy and regular bluetooth used in headsets are completely different things, most notably with completely different power consumption levels. Even if the class BT radio was there, it would crush the battery pretty quickly. Based on how Android Wear devices work I wouldn't expect to be able to listen to music direct from the watch.
posted by GuyZero at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2014


1) The watch will act like a speaker/microphone for your phone, so kind of like a bluetooth headset, just on your wrist, not your head. I like this idea, as I hate having things stuck to my head if I don't have to (I wear glasses, so that's more than enough).

If it's loud enough, or the sound is directional in some way, this could be awesome for driving.

The entire thing would be awesome for driving actually, if it can use its sensors to detect the road noise/engine vibration and go "oh, seems like you're in a car, i'll listen for you to talk to me without pushing a button if you flip me over and check up the display".(or, i guess, "oh, your phone is in carplay mode")

I also think it would be the perfect unintrusive GPS while driving. Want to glance at the map? it's on your arm, right next to the gauges, which you should be glancing at occasionally anyways.

According to the features list, if you leave your phone at home, you can still listen to the music that is loaded on that phone while running/jogging. No clue how this works, but apparently you don't have to carry your phone with you. You can also control what your phone is playing, see what it is playing by looking at the watch, instead of having to pull out your phone.

People here seem to be confused, but yes, there are BTLE headphones/boomboxes/etc. In fact, most bluetooth 4.0 audio receivers support this. This is an awesome feature.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there's going to be a new series(or even several, like the workout ones and some standard over the ears) of beats wireless headphones updated with BT4/LE launching concurrently with the watch.

it also hints at not-linked-with-phone functionality, which is what i was most curious about. Can you use maps without a phone? Does it rely on the phone for GPS? map data? does it cache like, the city you're in or a certain surrounding area?

Also, no, guyzero, BTLE audio stuff doesn't really make much of a difference in battery life. in the newer iphones it's actually pretty close to "you never need to turn the bluetooth off, it makes no actual difference". You notice it when you link to something that uses bt 2.1 or something, too.

4) Siri integration. Meh, I haven't used Siri much, but that's kind of cool that you can say "text friend A" and it asks you what you'd like to send, then asks you if it got it correct before sending. Really cool hands free feature, if you ask me.

I already use this all the time while driving. You can nudge siri on, never look at your phone AT ALL, and send/receive texts without ever taking your eyes off the road.

"Send a message to SoAndSo saying bla"
"Ok, ready to send your message, is this correct?"
"Read it to me"
"Bla. Would you like to send it?"
"Yea"

Then a bit later *text sound*

"Read the most recent message to me"
"Foobar. Would you like to reply?"

It's a bit cumbersome, and i wish you could set it to automatically always read what you said back to you without that extra step of asking, but it works GREAT. They've even mostly fixed my early complaint of siri never inserting punctuation.

3) iPhone camera remote. You can control the camera of your phone from the watch. Now you can be in the pictures you take. You can also set the camera timer from the watch as well. Way cool.

It's not just a remote either, it's like... a remote viewfinder/POV. It's a really cool feature, but i can see it getting used for some seriously nefarious things.
posted by emptythought at 4:32 PM on September 12, 2014


BTLE literally lacks sufficient bandwidth to transmit audio the way BT 2.x does. If there are really BTLE headsets I've never seen one and there's no standardized support for an audio streaming GATT profile. If you're using A2DP it's standard BT, not BTLE, with the corresponding power consumption (which to be fair isn't really that huge, just higher than BTLE comms)
posted by GuyZero at 4:35 PM on September 12, 2014


> I don't even understand what it is I could do with one hand with a phone...you could...what? Look at tweets, or tumblr or something else which is largely scroll scroll scroll, which seems...shallow? I mean, time-killing but unessential. If you actually need to send email, or look at a non-mobile website which requires a sideways view, or actually use a map with searches and such...you're back to two hands anyway, and then you have to battle the tiny screen.

Nope! This is why I love my right-sized iPhone 4S. I can type, email, text, tweet, play a couple games, scroll horizontally or vertically, etc, etc. I can do anything on the phone that doesn't require more than one tap at a time. If I had to use a (popular) Android phone or the iPhone 6 then I would have to use two hands. Maybe I'll put it in terms of the kids these days: with the iPhone 4S, I can take a selfie, compose a clever caption, and post it all with one hand.
posted by Monochrome at 5:50 PM on September 12, 2014


Let me repeat for the billionth time: that you love using your phone one-handed means nothing. Well, it's a data point of one out of about 2 billion. Many, many people are willing to use two hands. You probably use both hands a lot of the time anyway.
posted by GuyZero at 6:16 PM on September 12, 2014


BTLE literally lacks sufficient bandwidth to transmit audio the way BT 2.x does. If there are really BTLE headsets I've never seen one and there's no standardized support for an audio streaming GATT profile. If you're using A2DP it's standard BT, not BTLE, with the corresponding power consumption (which to be fair isn't really that huge, just higher than BTLE comms)

One of the biggest problems with Bluetooth LE is that a lot of the early adopter devices (jesus christ I'm looking at you Pebble) have included single mode Bluetooth LE controllers along with a standard Bluetooth 2.1+EDR controller. This has been a giant pain in the ass for usability. Hopefully with the Apple Watch it'll end up being a multimode Broadcom chip that isn't such a retarded arrangement as a CC2564/CC2560A multi chip solution.
posted by Talez at 9:04 PM on September 12, 2014


> Let me repeat for the billionth time: that you love using your phone one-handed means nothing.

Save it for when I start demanding that Apple cater to me.
posted by Monochrome at 5:35 AM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]




Saw some iPod touch rumors but they appear to be just wishful thinking.
posted by cashman at 4:21 PM on September 13, 2014


I'd meant to post earlier that most big Android phones have a one handed mode of some sort and that Apple would surely have one.
posted by markr at 9:06 PM on September 14, 2014


I still can't get over how much samsung was made fun of when they introduced that one handed mode thing, and now when apple does it everyones like "oh yea, that makes sense". And i'm not one of the android fan smartasses saying that either. I just think it's a hilarious reaction.

I'm interested to see how third party apps handle that, as well. Is it part of the adaptation to mark off a specific UI for the bigger screen? Is it something sort of done by default if you use most of apples default UI stuff as a lot of simpler apps do?

I'm also, now having seen that gizmodo post, cracking up at imagining one of the tiniest people i know(who really really wants a plus) trying to even hold that in one hand and poke it with the other. It's hilariously huge, just like the galaxy note. I don't know why in my head i thought it was smaller, but i had seen stuff like the oneplusone that managed to cram a big screen into a smaller body and my brain hadn't really processed it yet. I'm still waiting to see it in person, but so far? wow.
posted by emptythought at 4:52 AM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I still can't get over how much samsung was made fun of when they introduced that one handed mode thing, and now when apple does it everyones like "oh yea, that makes sense".

Not so. For example, John Gruber gets a lot of flack as an Apple fanboy and worse. Here's his reaction:

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Oh, that can’t be. Samsung tried that and it was ridiculous. Haha, the New York Times got punked. The thing is, I’m not laughing. You wanted Apple to make a 5.5-inch iPhone? This is what you get.

(Note that this was a few days before the official announcements.)

My brother in law 3D printed an iPhone 6+ model, and that thing is HUGE. Definitely not a pocket device - I'd need a man purse to use it - but I can totally see the purse + Apple Watch use case.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:23 AM on September 15, 2014


I still can't get over how much samsung was made fun of when they introduced that one handed mode thing, and now when apple does it everyones like "oh yea, that makes sense".

And you get to reachability mode by double-tapping the home button. Not pressing it, tapping it.

I'm really hoping the next round of redesigns will bring an iPhone nano or at least an edge to edge version of the 4.7". Making a phone so large you also need a watch for ease of use is ridiculous.
posted by Gary at 12:08 PM on September 15, 2014


I'm glad I've lived long enough to see U2 go from being an angry young anti-establishment band to corporate dad rock to a bad joke which confuses and angers teens.
It's also kind of fun watching the same thing happen to Apple. Right now they're in the "dad tech" phase but the whole U2 thing is the first sign of the actively angering young people phase.
posted by Poldo at 12:17 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Never trust a company over 30, amirite?
posted by entropicamericana at 12:32 PM on September 15, 2014


I've kept my 80gb ipod around for long airplane flights where my phone would get drained from multi-hour listening, but the last time I took it the battery no longer would hold much of a charge. I'm half tempted to see if I can pick up one used, but the battery would probably be a crapshoot on that too.
posted by tavella at 12:35 PM on September 15, 2014


Right now they're in the "dad tech" phase but the whole U2 thing is the first sign of the actively angering young people phase.

You have to wonder if the Beats guys warned them what a bad idea this was.
posted by smackfu at 12:45 PM on September 15, 2014


I'd just shorten that to "never trust a company", especially one that warned you ahead of time.
posted by Poldo at 12:52 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm really hoping the next round of redesigns will bring an iPhone nano or at least an edge to edge version of the 4.7". Making a phone so large you also need a watch for ease of use is ridiculous.

I was really hoping for more edge to edge-ish designs. I really liked the "leaks" of the 5 that were floating around where it was almost the same size as the 4, just with oneplusone style super tiny chin/foreheads like in that diagram you linked.

And yea, the idea was that the 4.7 would be barely bigger than the 5 is now, and the 5.5 to be more like everyone elses 5in-ish phones besides the really compact ones like the LG and the oneplus. I'm actually a bit disappointed with what they did.

It leaves me wondering if they're worried that in doing that, they'll just look like any random android phone or that they think there's some usability issue or something? since yea, there is a usability issue; having that much framing and set dressing makes them too fucking huge.

Really, i wish they had sacrificed some battery life on the big one and not tried to make them any thinner than the 5 if that meant they could reign in the X and Y a bit. The Z has been thin enough since the 4 honestly, definitely since the 5. And i in fact agree with the people saying the recent products like the ipad mini/retina are almost getting too thin to be totally ergonomic.

The fact of the matter is just that these phones are big as total units for how much display they have. From poking around, the plus is bigger than the galaxy note 3 height wise(which is the dimension that's annoying imo) despite having a smaller screen. Similarly, the non-plus 6 is about the size of a nexus 5.

It's like, shape up guys. What the hell.
posted by emptythought at 2:03 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


the whole U2 thing is the first sign of the actively angering young people phase

Not so much that specifically; more that it feels like a big marketing blunder. Most of the chatter online since the event has been about the U2 album rather than about the new products.

(Also interesting that the "OMG APPLE WATCH" frenzy lasted what, a day? and now nobody seems to be interested in it at all. But they get a second go at that when they actually release it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:54 PM on September 15, 2014


tavella, iFixit might have a replacement battery for your unit. Their parts and instructions are top-notch.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:42 PM on September 15, 2014


Seconding the iFixit recommendation. I just fixed the battery in my 30GB 5th-gen iPod (which is about 9 years old) over the weekend. Took me about 30 minutes with the site open and the tools. $15 for a new battery is a lot cheaper than a new device!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:55 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


John Gruber on the Apple Watch: "When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit-fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit-fits."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:13 AM on September 17, 2014


ah, already FPP'ed I see.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:17 AM on September 17, 2014


> So as I was typing up this post, my phone rang and my girlfriend was calling me. I had to stop what I was going, pull my phone out, look who it was, then answer the phone and put it up to me head. After reading about the features of the Apple Watch, I am dreaming of the day when that same thing will happen, and I don't even have to move my hands to glance down and a) see who is calling, b) answer the call, and c) continue typing WITH BOTH HANDS, because I won't have to hold my phone up to my head.

If you have an iPhone and a MacBook, you will be able to do this in a month once OSX is updated with new continuity features. If you are typing on an iPad, you should be able to do this right now, assuming you updated to iOS 8 today.

Anyhow, I want to say Apple got it all wrong with the Health App icon. It's a blank square with a pink heart offset to the upper right side, in reference to a heart in a chest. But that's where other people's hearts are. When I think about myself or look in the mirror, my heart is on the left side. Having the heart icon on the right side sends the signal that I'm looking at someone else's vital statistics. Or, of course, someone is looking at mine.
posted by peeedro at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2014


I want to say Apple got it all wrong with the Health App icon

Yeah, but hearts don't even look like that--the icon is a cartoon, a valentine. And if Apple went with a "users-eye-view" of their hearts, it would be upside down and seen from a viewpoint of about, what, 10:30--much more confusing.
posted by blueberry at 9:54 PM on September 17, 2014


evolution-of-iphone.gif
posted by blueberry at 9:14 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Stephen Collins on the Watch Collar.
posted by biffa at 12:36 PM on September 20, 2014


> I'm really hoping the next round of redesigns will bring... an edge to edge version of the 4.7".

After half a day with the iPhone 6 (not the 6+), I guess it's worth pointing out that the bezel space serves a functional purpose, at least on rounded cases.

With the iPhone 3 -- which had a rounded case and a screen that went close-but-not-quite to the edges of the surface -- I would sometimes have mis-touches because flesh of the palm of my hand or the length of my fingers would brush on the screen near the edges while I held it.

With the iPhone 4 and 5, I didn't have that problem as much. The squared-off edges also seemed to help keep that down.

I have the problem again and more drastically with the iPhone 6, which has a rounded case similar to the 3, albeit thinner.

This is a minor issue as far as I'm concerned, because I usually keep my phone cased. (Wallet cases ftw). But it is a human factors issue, and Apple might or might not decide that particular style is not worth the user complaints. The design of the Apple Watch adds to my suspicions, since it does have an edge-to-edge display. It's also mounted on the wrist, so there's less concern about the unit being cradled in hand during use.
posted by ardgedee at 1:07 PM on September 20, 2014


I just got a Moto360 Android Wear watch on Friday and suddenly I'm like meh Apple Watch.
posted by humanfont at 5:56 PM on September 20, 2014


I got some extended time to play around with both the 6 and the 6+ today. I probably fondled both of them for a half hour or so, and ran plenty of apps and messed around with a number of things.

On the regular 6, i couldn't help but feel it was bigger for no reason. My partner in particular hated it. She can easily, albeit it's borderline, use a 5/5s with one hand and generally comfortably. She can, comparatively, barely hold a 6 much less thumb through it. She was not the only woman, or person with small hands i saw with that complaint. I just don't see what the value add of a slightly larger screen is. Pretty much, it doesn't show enough more to justify the fact that it takes away from the ability to use it one handed for a lot of people. The 4in size was probably pretty much ideal for that, and i can't help but get the feeling that they basically caved to the peer pressure/whiner factor of "everyone else is doing it/everyone wants it". I just, didn't really get it i guess.

The 6+ on the other hand just seemed obvious to me. It's like seeing the ipad mini after seeing the original ipad, or when they introduced the 12 and 17in powerbooks, or something. I, as i mentioned above, have ginormous hands. I picked the thing up and just went "yep". I was standing right next to a guy who had small hands who immediately made fun of it. The amount of content shown in the browser was clearly a big difference from my 5, pretty much linearly. Everything i went through the answer was pretty much "that's the ticket". By the way, it fits in a pocket totally fine. Even the little front pockets of my bike pants. And not "barely" or anything. It's big, but they obviously tested that.

That said, I can't help but wish they had just kept making the 4in size and then gone all the way and made the 5.5 beside it. I just don't get the 4.7in size. It reminds me of those SUVs that are really big enough that they should seat more than 5 passengers, or carry a decent amount of cargo... but just don't. The body is pretty much truck sized, but you still only get 3 people in the back seat for what is at this point a large vehicle. It's big enough in a lot of peoples hands that it's a "big" phone, but it's not actually big. It doesn't go all the way. the 6+ on the other hand feels like a cargo van. You can get 3 rows of seats in there and still fit a drum set in the back. There's a clear reason for that to exist.

All of my friends i talked to about this today who had seen it got what i was saying. 4.7in is enough of a step larger that a lot of people already see it as "too big". But you don't really see much more on the screen than you do on the 5s.

I guess i just expected more of a clear deliniation. Remember when the two imac sizes went from 1680x1050 to 1080p as the resolution choices? that was sort of silly. 1080p vs 1440p though, was an obvious improvement anyone could see. It was like, a logical graduation. It feels a lot more like the former than the latter. And i just... don't really get why apple would do that.

Mostly, i just feel like only the 6+ is a real upgrade if you have a 5s and wanted "more space". The regular 6 feels like more of a lateral move, diagonal at most, where you kinda give up quite a bit in "bigger phone" for not getting all that much back. Which sucks, because conceptually i wanted the smaller one, but i'm not so sure anymore.

And anyone who really didn't want any bigger of a phone is kind of fucking shafted at this point. The comment early in the watch thread about refurbishing a 5s with new batteries and such for as long as it will last kind of hit home there. As it stands, my partner plans to use her 5 until it falls apart and stops working. And she was fortunately, within that battery recall and will get a new battery in the next couple days. So maybe it'll last another two years? who knows. She completely hates that your options for <4.5in current specs phone are basically "Uh... xperia Z1 compact? and... uh". Her comments were basically "What happened to the thing where the future was everything getting more and more compact and efficient? Why did this shit start getting bigger again?"

She's dreaming of an iphone mini. And frankly, i'm wondering if that's what the 5C and whatever follows it will become over time.
posted by emptythought at 4:10 AM on September 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh to not abuse the edit window here, a couple little things i forgot:

The camera is holy shit amazing. I feel like most of the "woah, shot of nature" review photos won't really capitalize on what is by far the most impressive feature of it.

Which is that, even with HDR off so no cheating, the dynamic range is amazing. The detail it can pull out of dark areas in a bright room, or vice versa, is just holy shit what the fuck. It puts my NEX-6 to shame without some serious RAW editing. This is easy to wow yourself with too if you're looking for it. Take a photo where dark hair is in shadow, then look at the hair. A "woah holy SHIT!" fell out of my mouth like a toddler dropping a sippy cup from a high chair. The last time i had this reaction at a phone, period, was seeing the iphone 4 screen in real life for the first time. The focus is also a pretty big difference. It doesn't cycle completely through its range and "hunt" now, ever, that i could see. It's like when the NEX cameras went from only having contrast-detect AF to PDAF. And i mean, that's what happened, but it's still just as impressive of an improvement. It definitely focuses about as fast as my NEX with one of the lenses that's well, fast at that, like the 20mm. It now has better dynamic range and better AF than any point and shoot i've used more than a bit. I'd say it's probably, overall, in the same range as something like the rx100 mk1 or something if it didn't have zoom, and was maybe 20% not as great. It definitely feels like apple is getting better at doing this "great small sensor camera" thing faster than say, fuji is making better stuff like the x100. I wouldn't be surprised if the iphone 7 was on par with a rx100mk1 in every way or even exceeded it is what i'm saying. Look at the first photo under "side by side comparisons" in this and tell me you don't at least see where i'm going with this. I'd really love if he had thrown a couple compact cameras in there. I'm not saying it's an RX1, but it's definitely getting in to the range where only obviously high end fixed-lens cameras that cost as much as an unlocked iphone 6 by themselves can clearly exceed it by enough of a margin that anything but acute analysis could notice. In very low light an rx100 would probably still murder it, but in anything but low light it's a much closer race than you'd think.

I'd probably be comfortable with just taking an iphone 6 on a trip with me and leaving my NEX behind. It's the first one i've felt that way about. One of the main things driving me to upgrade is wanting to play around with the camera a lot. Remember how huge of an improvement the camera in the 4 was from any previous iphone? it's like that, all over again.
posted by emptythought at 4:32 AM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't help but wish they had just kept making the 4in size and then gone all the way and made the 5.5 beside it. I just don't get the 4.7in size. [...] 4.7in is enough of a step larger that a lot of people already see it as "too big". But you don't really see much more on the screen than you do on the 5s.

Yeah, this. Every time I pick this phone up I go "Whoa, this is big!" But then, I had the same sensation going from the 4 to the 5S - so maybe it's just a question of getting used to it.

A comment I heard: Apple started out with a phone that was also an iPod and an internet communicator, so that people would understand what it was. Now it's no longer needed - just like the skeuomorphic affordances of the older iOS versions - it can grow into its own form factor. Everyone understands what an iPhone is, so goodbye cellphone size and shape.

I would bet, though, that the 5S form factor stays around and gets upgrades to its internal guts. Maybe there'll be the 6S, 6S Plus, and 6S Mini next year. (So, as you said, "dreaming of an iphone mini".)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:31 AM on September 22, 2014


When I moved from my 4th gen iPod Touch (3.5in) to a Moto G (4.5in) I had to learn two new ways to hold it: cradled in the palm of my hand and using my thumb for navigation, and upended on the meaty bit at the bottom of the thumb and using my thumb for swipe-typing. Both are a little more precarious, but they work.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:13 PM on September 22, 2014


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