The Wireless-Future Edition Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hands On With The iPhone 7: A Brief Peek At The Wireless Future, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

If you buy the silver, gold, or rose gold finishes, the iPhone 7 looks a lot like the 6S—it’s no accident that Apple focused mainly on the much different-looking glossy Jet Black finish in its presentation. The giveaways are the missing headphone jack, the larger camera lens and bump, and the streamlined antenna cutouts—the latter is still more noticeable on the lighter finishes because Apple doesn’t try to match the color of the aluminum as it does with the black and jet black finishes.

Coming from the 6S, I noticed the reduction in weight as I held and played with both phones. It’s not a night-and-day difference, but you’ll feel it in your hand and in your pocket. Otherwise, the screen bezels are the same size and touching the screen and using the camera is going to feel pretty familiar to 6 and 6S users.

Inside iPhone 7: Why Apple Killed The Headphone Jack, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

For Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, the iPhone’s 3.5-millimeter audio jack has felt something like the last months of an ill-fated if amicable relationship: familiar and comfortable, but ultimately an impediment to a better life ahead. “We’ve got this 50-year-old connector — just a hole filled with air — and it’s just sitting there taking up space, really valuable space,” he says. [...]

“It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone,” Riccio says. “It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.”

Apple AirPods Hands (And Ears) On, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

They fit in my ears a little better than EarPods, but not by much — I jumped up and down and shook my head a bit and they felt snug, but I wouldn't count on them staying in during any particularly dynamic activities. If you pull one out, the music automatically stops, which is cool — there are sensors that detect when they're in your ears. Another sensor lets you activate Siri just by touching them, and built-in mics with noise cancellation enhance your voice for calls and voice control. It was super loud at the demo area, so this was hard to test — we'll have to try again when it's quieter.

Apple’s AirPods Do Use Bluetooth And They Don’t Require An iPhone 7, by Ina Fried, Recode

Apple To Sell Replacement Lightning To 3.5mm Headphone Adapter For $9, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple Announces New Wireless Beats Headphones: Solo3, Powerbeats3, BeatsX, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

iPhone 7 And 7 Plus Are IP67 Water Resistant, But Water Damage Isn't Covered Under Warranty, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple Warns New Glossy Jet Black iPhone 7 Finish Will Scratch Easily, Recommends Using Case, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple’s A10 Fusion Optimizes Power Consumption To Give You More Battery Life, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Series Two

Apple Officially Unveils Swimproof ‘Apple Watch Series 2’ With White Ceramic Option, NIke+ Version, GPS, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with incredible fitness and health capabilities including a water resistance 50 meter rating for swimming, and built-in GPS so users can now run without an iPhone. Apple Watch Series 2 also features a dramatically brighter display and a powerful dual-core processor.

Apple Announces New Apple Watch App For Hikers, Viewranger, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Watch Series 2 Abandons Gold Edition Models In Favor Of Ceramic, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Mario and Pikachu

The Man Behind Mario Explains Nintendo’s New iPhone Game, by Matt Peckham, Time

Yes, this is one of the titles Mr. Kimishima had referenced. We don’t know if there will end up being all five of them, but this is one of the ones that we’ve been working on.*

The team that’s developing Super Mario Run is actually mostly comprised of the original Super Mario development team. So [Takashi] Tezuka-sanis the developer and I’m the producer. We’ve brought together the developers at Nintendo who know the side-scrolling Mario games best, to work with them to develop the best side-scrolling Mario game for a mobile device.

Apple, Niantic Announce Pokémon Go For Apple Watch, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Pokémon Go on the watch puts the game's best features on your wrist: you can hatch eggs, see nearby Pokémon, and interact with Pokéstops to collect items. There's even a complication for the watch face, letting you see how far you have to travel to hatch an egg.

More Announcements

iOS 10 And watchOS 3 Coming September 13, macOS Sierra Coming September 20, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has not yet provided a release date for the tvOS 10 operating system that has also been in beta testing since June.

Apple Updates iPad Lineup With Increased Storage Across The Board, iPad Pro Gets A Price Cut, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

iWork Apps Get Real-time Collaboration, Demo’d Live In The Keynote, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Debuts 'Everyone Can Code' Program To Teach Kids Swift, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Reacting And Reflecting

What’s Really Missing From The New iPhone: Cutting-Edge Design, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

It’s not just that a few new Apple products have been plagued with design flaws. The bigger problem is an absence of delight. I recently checked in with several tech-pundit friends for their assessment of Apple’s aesthetic choices. “What was the last Apple design that really dazzled you?” I asked.

There was a small chorus of support for the MacBook, the beautifully tiny (if functionally flawed) laptop that Apple released last year. But most respondents were split between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 — two daring smartphone designs that were instantly recognized as surpassing anything else on the market.

Beyond The iPhone, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

The truly wireless future that Ive hinted at doesn’t just entail cutting the cord between your phone and your headphones, but eventually a future where phones may not even be necessary. Given that Apple’s user experience advantages are still the greatest when it comes to physically interacting with your device, and the weakest when it comes to service dependent interactions like Siri, that is a frightening prospect.

And that is why I ultimately forgive Schiller for his “courage” hubris. To Apple’s credit they are, with the creation of AirPods, laying the foundation for a world beyond the iPhone. It is a world where, thanks to their being a product — not services — company, Apple is at a disadvantage; however, it is also a world that Apple, thanks to said product expertise, especially when it comes to chips, is uniquely equipped to create. That the company is running towards it is both wise — the sooner they get there, the longer they have to iterate and improve and hold off competitors — and also, yes, courageous. The easy thing would be to fight to keep us in a world where phones are all that matters, even if, in the long run, that would only prolong the end of Apple’s dominance.

Apple’s Annual Iteration: Thoughts On The Sept. 7 Media Event, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The AirPods themselves? I wish they fit my ears better, because they’re an amazing piece of technology. If I was at Apple and knew that the AirPods were about to arrive, I’d be emboldened to kill the headphone jack, too. They’re smart, small, and priced about the same as other premium wireless earbuds. I got to try a pair at the event today, but I’ll save those details for a follow-up. Suffice it to say, I was impressed.


Apple's Twitter Account Spoils iPhone Announcement, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Apple's brand new Twitter account got surprisingly active today when it went ahead and announced the iPhone 7 before Tim Cook could get to it on stage. A series of tweets were send out as advertisements, showing photos and video of the new iPhone and highlighting some of its top features.