Monday Morning News
John Gruber’s thoughts and observations on last week’s iPhone 7 event say that for all the leaks, Apple were still able to pull out a few surprises in the form of Super Mario Run and resurrecting iWork from the grave and granting it +1 to collaboration. He spends a fair few more paragraphs talking about the new Apple Watch lineup, mostly because there just isn’t much to say about the new iPhones, given that Apple improved basically every aspect of the device.
And yet, the difference between Jet Black and Black bears a little more discussion. I don’t know about you, but I was plagued with indecision when it came time to pre-order last Friday. You would expect Jet Black to be the more premium model, but Gruber says that the Black looks darker in real life than photos show, although he suggests that the Black looks better in the real world, while the Jet Black feels better.
The other topic that bears additional discussion is, of course, the removal of the headphone jack. Gruber draws parallels to when the iPhone didn’t support Flash, but as he says, it’s not even close to a similar situation — Flash is “garbage technology” and the headphone jack, well, the headphone jack has been around for close to a hundred years. But consider this: how many phones did you have before the iPhone that had a headphone jack as standard? I know my feature-phone Nokia didn’t.
Even the first iPhone didn’t have a normal headphone jack. Whether it was due to some design consideration or some other reason, the headphone jack on the very first iPhone was recessed deeply enough that some of your headphones at the time needed an adaptor. The device that was supposed to be a widescreen iPad as well as a breakthrough internet communications device and revolutionary mobile phone, needed an adaptor. Crazy, right?
Which brings us to the magic of Apple’s AirPods. Reviews should be coming out later this week, but after a short hands-on session, you can already tell that people are impressed. They’re packed with smart tech like automatically switching to mono-audio when you put a single AirPod in your ear, switching to stereo when you put the other AirPod.
Note that Apple’s battery testing for the iPhone 7 series (and where it got its battery life numbers from) was with a set of Bluetooth headphones paired, as is now the default use case. If you’re not listening to music, chances are you’ll get even more out of the battery.
Apple has posted up the out-of-warranty service pricing for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The good news is that pricing mostly remains unchanged, at least for the iPhone 7. The 7 Plus gets a slight increase in out-of-warranty service, up $30 on the iPhone 6 Plus. I’m also pretty sure AppleCare+ is slightly more expensive this time around ($189 compared to $129).
A report from the New York Times claims Apple is rethinking its self-driving car strategy. They claim a shuttering of some aspects of Project Titan has resulted in dozens of layoffs, with previous rumours claiming that Apple’s ship date for its autonomous vehicle slipping to 2021.
Now that Marco Arment can live off the riches from his previous ventures, he’s free to do crazy things like try out new business models for his podcast app, Overcast. Overcast is now free and ad-supported, with a patronage option called Overcast Premium that costs $10 a year, removes the ads, lets you upload files, and gives you some future features.
An email from Apple CEO Tim Cook to one concerned Mac user reassures him that Cook loves the Mac and Apple is very committed to it, telling him to “stay tuned” for future updates.
Header image from a tweet by Matthew Panzarino.