Friday Morning News
The highlights from Apple’s event yesterday gives us the cliff notes of everything that was announced, including the new iPhone XS and XR, as well as the Apple Watch Series 4. If you missed out and still want to catch up, there’s the full keynote available via your platform of choice, or if you’re really time-starved, the 108-second summary video that speeds through the announcements in a fraction of the time of the full thing.
Even if you were paying attention, you might have missed a now-deleted tweet from Apple CEO Tim Cook saying “No. Who can get it here quickly?” At the time, we all thought it was in reference to some new product that Apple had somehow forgotten to bring to the Steve Jobs Theater. But when the keynote opened with a fun video about bringing something else — equally as important to the keynote, mind you — to the Theater, we realised that we had all been played like a fiddle.
The Washington Post has an interview with Jony Ive, who has apparently cast the iPhone aside in favour of a slightly more personal device: the Apple Watch. Every Watch released so far has been leading up to this one, which Ive says will be a “more marked tipping point in understanding and adoption of the product”, probably due to the better health monitoring amongst its myriad of other features. Yes, even if the ECG feature won’t be available at launch, and then only in the US until it’s approved elsewhere.
The iPhone XS and XR won’t ship with a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter in the box, and you’ll still get the standard 5W USB power adapter. No real surprises there, given recent rumours, although Apple is saying that the iPhone XS supports “faster wireless charging“, although again, they’re light on details about what that actually means, or how much of an improvement it is over the iPhone X, or 8 and 8 Plus models.
As rumoured, the iPhone XS will support dual SIMs using the method that iPads do: one physical SIM slot, with an eSIM embedded in hardware, just like current iPad Pros. Apple’s support article on using dual SIMs tells you everything you need to know, and there’s a list of wireless carriers that support eSIM. While no Australian telcos appear on that list as yet, given that many are already capable of provisioning eSIMs for Apple Watch, I suspect the jump to eSIM for iPhone isn’t too big of a leap.
In the US, AppleCare+ now comes in a AppleCare+ with theft and loss flavour for US $100 more than the standard offering, bringing AppleCare+ closer to being a true insurance policy for your device. The excess fees even seem pretty reasonable, although the Australian version of AppleCare+ has no such theft and loss option.
A new background NFC tag reading feature now allows the iPhone XS and XR to scan NFC tags without opening an app. That’s a little different to the current NFC capabilities, which require a device to be unlocked and in use before an NFC tag can be read. Instead, background NFC tag reading will allow for tags to be read, presenting a notification to launch the appropriate app for further action.
Apple announced dates for all of its software updates, with iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 being released next Tuesday for us Australians, and macOS Mojave arriving a week later. The Gold Master of iOS 12 is now out for everyone running either the developer or public beta, otherwise if you’re buying a new shiny, it’ll come with Apple’s latest and greatest.
Just when we were all saying Beats was dead in the water, Apple goes and releases new hardware. Sure, it’s only new colour options to match the colourful new options of the iPhone XR, but it’s something. The lack of a Space Grey Solo3 is kinda weird, though.
There’s a number of people mourning the loss of the iPhone SE from Apple’s iPhone lineup, and a number of those people are women, particularly women with smaller hands or small pockets. The Verge even goes as far as to say women’s pockets are the only reason to buy the iPhone XS, but I’m sure there are plenty of other good reasons.