A few days have since passed us by when the Californian tech giant, Apple, made one of their biggest announcements in the past decade.
I am of course talking about the release of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch.
The event itself took place in a purpose-built temporary building, packed full of journalists and Apple employees, which has become expected for an event of this stature.
As has been the norm over the past few years, Apple put on a live video stream of the event itself, so that those who wish they could be there in person but can’t, can at least be there in spirit. Usually the experience is flawless, however Apple’s servers clearly suffered a few gremlins as a result of the sheer demand they were put under due to the whole world deciding to tune in.
This demand caused the connection to drop a several times, and for some bizarre reason, the stream was dubbed with Japanese for the beginning, something, which when combined together caused quite a bit of frustration, for those who were tuning in and waiting with bated breath as to what would be announced. Things did get a little patchier as the event continued, with the crescendo being Apple.com being down its entirety.
However after approximately 45 minutes in, the problems were rectified and things returned to normality, with my feed remaining stable until the end.
Quite a few people took to Twitter complaining as to how Apple should have been prepared, and that they were incredibly disappointed in them, however, Apple were streaming HD content live, to tens of millions of people across the globe, in real-time. I can’t even begin to think how much the infrastructure would have cost to make that possible at all, and let’s be honest, no matter how many people you would think would tune in to an Apple event, there will always be many more than were expected.
What about the tech that was announced?
Well, the headlines by the vast majority of the rumour-mills were spot on; there were two iPhones released, and an Apple Watch.
My initial thoughts on the iPhone were that, wow that’s cool, but the big one is perhaps a little too big for the majority of consumers. Would it be too big to put in a pocket, or use in one hand?
I wanted to test this out, so printed out the size guide which had been doing its rounds on the internet, and then bulked it up to the required thickness with scrap paper.
All in all, the device which has a higher screen resolution, better hardware, and thinner profile feels great in the hand. Yes it’s big, but not too big, however as I use the keyboard with two hands currently there really won’t be any change I need to get used to. I would say categorically, a ‘fablet’ it is not!
It is strange that there is no longer a 32GB option, but there continues to be a 16GB model sold. However as I outgrew 32GB a long time, 64GB is the capacity I shall be choosing. I personally would have thought that Apple would have no longer produced 16GB version, with the line up being 32GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively, as they encourage more and more digital content to be downloaded and storage becomes cheaper.
As I am sure anyone reading this blog will already know, the iPhone will be available for pre-order on the 12th September, for collection or delivery a week later on the 19th. Having spoken a local Apple employee, they confirmed that it will be limited to 2 per customer, and that those who order for collection will pay for their items in store.
Personally this is ideal for me, as although the size and capacity decisions have been made, the all-important decision on colour has not. I have been owner of a white iPhone for the 5S and love the fact it’s not chosen by the masses, however I do wonder if it’s time to go gold. The Apple store weren’t able to confirm if the colours are identical to the current 5S range, so pre-ordering one of each, and making the final decision on the day when I can see one in the flesh is going to be the done thing.
The star of the show was without a doubt, the Apple Watch. I almost certain that as time goes by it will be known by its ‘unofficial prototype title of the iWatch. I would be interested to know why Apple didn’t go down the path of calling it iWatch, my gut instinct would have me believe that it’s down to a legal issue over anything else, however that is pure speculation.
Three collections, or designs, of the watch body are available, with a number of Apple designed straps which make the specto device customisable to the n’th degree, and that is before 3rd party manufacturers have had their say!
The watch itself is a thing of beauty, as is the interface. Tim Cook made a very valid point, in that if they had just used the current iOS as is, it would have been impossible to use due to the watches relative size to the users fingers. Navigation is therefore taken care of by using both touch, and a digital crown (or knobbly bit on the side to you and me). It looks instinctive enough.
First impressions are that it will be as seamless to use as iOS 7 (and I would imagine 8) to be. It will be interesting to see how Apple manages the iOS for the watch, will it start at iOS 8 when it’s eventually released, or will it have its own version of operating system. I personally think the latter is unlikely due to the fact that Apple has already moved away from having two ‘mobile operating systems’ with the iPhone and iPad, choosing to have them run the same OS, but look and act differently depending which device it’s on.
Functionality, it has everything which I would want. It measures your heart rate, steps, allows me to respond to notifications from my phone, answer calls, change music, reply to texts, update my Facebook status and tweet from the device itself.
The telling the time feature is almost secondary to everything else, however the watch face can also be customised to suit your style and requirements.
Currently we don’t know the price, (however some rumour sites have said it will cost circa £219), and an exact launch date. Needless to say, when Tim Cook stated it was “coming early 2015” I let out an audible “nooooooooo”.
Apple weren’t the first to introduce wearable tech, but based on what I’ve seen so far, they are the first to do it right.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this device, and it will no doubt do to wearable technology what the iPod did to listening to music, make such seamless transition into our lives, that we won’t remember what we did before it.