Tuesday was the day all Apple fans look forward to. It’s the one day of the year, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple comes on stage just as Steve Jobs did in years past to announce the new and improved tech of the future for the company, primarily in the new iPhone. Today though they talked iPhone 11, Apple Watch Series 5, 7th Gen iPad, and the infamous Apple TV+ with a crazy good price compared to the completion like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Disney Plus.
This entire post is also available on my new podcast, Just Outside the Artboard available now on Anchor, Spotify, and iTunes if you’d like the audible version.
Whether your an Apple user or not I think it’s important to see what some of the type tech companies in the industry are doing to push products forward and this is a simple breakdown of what I think are the key points they are making a difference while also maybe completely missing the boat entirely. If you are an Apple fan and already have a product say an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or stream shows online its really interesting to see a tech giant like Apple jump into various spaces and really direct an entire category.
Let’s start with the big surprise for many, Apple TV+, their version of Netflix or rather HBO if you will. Because let’s be real, that is who they are competing with after their announcement.
Now, I honestly thought this was going to be a HUGE loss for Apple. They’re already playing catchup to other giants and their trailers for original shows do look great but its not like you can tell if they will be massive hits right out the gate. But the price, that is what got me really interested. Where were they going to sit in comparison to others? How were they going to differentiate themselves?
They aren’t really competing with Netflix, as many assumed. They are really after HBO. They want a handful of high quality shows, and the production budgets on some of these shows. Though as many you might already have various other streaming services but this is the high end stuff, will it be worth adding to the arsenal?
I personally have had Netflix for nearly a decade now and only recently started to get into other streaming services. With Spotify, if you didn’t know, you can get Hulu, with ads, for free included in the 9.99 price point. Then as I already have AT&T for my mobile service they provide HBO streaming for free as well. This last year has been incredible as the competition and bundling really startsed to heat up. Hell, I just paid for 3 years of Disney+ because they did a buy 2 years, get the 3rd year free a few weeks ago, I was already ok with their 6.99 a month price tag but that deal brought it down to less than $4 a month for a crazy list of offerings. Anything Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Nat Geo. Competition is good guys!
Though, as I mentioned those aren’t who Apple is after in the streaming space, they want to be the next HBO. Shows that look like top dramas and action adventure like Game of Thrones.
That was honestly the biggest surprise of the day and one of the mysteries going into the keynote. Obviously Apple has the cash to burn to make shows good, they are currently pushing anywhere from 5-15 MILLION per episode on some of the new shows they are producing right now to keep the quality atop the rest of the pack.
They are offering that service on November 1st with shows beginning that month and then new shows each month after that. I presume they will go the weekly release vs the entire season dump that Netflix has been doing for years. This gives shows a longer shellfire and fan base quickly. It makes you invest more time into each episode, each character. That and buzz each week in the news cycle vs getting flooded with 1 week of Stranger Things news and then its over until the next year.
If you currently have Netflix though or any other streaming service, be prepared to see this become the norm soon. Many are keeping tabs on what HBO has been doing with shows like Game of Thrones, Righteous Gemstones, and Succession in their weekly releases and build up of buzz that really kept that show in the news each and every week. Just something to keep an eye on as you look to select a streaming service of choice in the future.
Oh and this kinda jumped out to me as well during the keynote. If you purchase an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook you will get Apple TV+ for a year for free. Though it’s not a huge discount when you think about it, the entire year of TV+ will cost around $60 anyway but savings is savings if you are already in the market for a new phone, computer, or iPad.
So before we get into the next announcement…what do you guys use for streaming? Do you still pay $200 a month for cable? Hav you cut the cord to any of their options? Would Apple TV+ be tempting? Is Netflix enough? Has Disney Plus taking away all things Disney, Pixar, and Marvel made you think about adding that to the list? Either way, let me know what you guys think. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram. Love to hear what you think.
Alright, next up…the 7th generation iPad. This “lower” end iPad has been one that many creators have pushed to the side for the Pro models but to be honest this thing is getting crazy good for the starting price of $329. Nothing too major to announce here but they added Apple Pencil support, which if you have never used the Apple Pencil, its a game changer with the iPad experience and one thing I can see becoming the norm going forward for any tablet, especially the iPad. But that’s about it for the iPad, it wasn’t a major refresh, they pushed the size of the screen up just a hair but nothing too crazy to write home about other than they keep pushing new features and faster processors for a solid price.
Apple Watch Series 5
Now on to the Apple Watch Series 5. This has to be the most confusing product for me to wrap my head around by Apple. It always has been. I’ve been on the fence about wanting to get one for years and still can’t pull the trigger even though they get better and better. I think its comes down to piss poor battery life, the overall design and form factor, along with the fact it’s essentially a miniature iPhone on your wrist. Don’t we already have a serious issue with grabbing our phones out all the time? Either way, I think next year might be the bigger jump so its defiantly a wait and see for me on this one.
Last year was a really solid upgrade. They increased the size of the screen closer to the edges of the watch face but that battery life, my lord it has to be the worst thing about this entire experience to me in practice. Do I want another device I have to charge EVERY SINGLE NIGHT before I go to bed? I have been a fan of smart tech for years now and have always loved companies like Jawbone, Withings, and Fitbit for innovating in this pace. I feel like Apple has the option to smash an iPhone into a tiny wrist watch no matter the consequences and said F it. That and I really enjoy sleep tracking and smart alarms for waking me up. I have been working with and sporting the Withings bands for a few years and really really enjoy this watch. It’s easily the best smartwatch on the planet right now in every way. That and it looks like a damn good looking watch. I can’t stand the look and feel of the Apple Watch. Something about how thick it is off the wrist and the square shape, it just doesn’t look natural.
Though I have quite a few gripes with the Apple Watch it does have some incredible features. They have been able to put in heart monitors and fall detection for elderly and people with disabilities which if you have heard some of the miracle stories behind that tech, it’s wild what they are able to detect before. Though the battery life is easily the worst part of the entire thing.
Todays keynote they started talking about how the new always on screen is the new big feature. I immediately said OUT LOUD, oh great…sounds like they won’t be improving battery life at all here! Then they said it still has the great 18 hour battery life as the previous generation. Maybe one day, until then I am sticking with my Withings watch and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get into the fitness band world. I’ll link a few of my favorites in the show notes.
What do you guys use? Do you have an Apple Watch? Do you love it? What am I missing? Pros cones? I would love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to shoot me a tweet or DM on Instagram to chat.
And last but not least. The iPhone. The crown jewel of Apple and their outrageous growth over the last decade. Today they announced the brand new iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. Now if you’ve opened twitter or literally any news website that relates to tech in the last 3-4 months you may have already seen quite a few photos of leaks and details of this phone already, which is no surprise its increasingly difficult to hide these types of things anymore so I doubt that will change anytime soon.
But what are the 3 options we have to choose from this year? Let’s start with the iPhone 11. Last year the iPhone XR was the BIG seller for Apple and they even mentioned that in the keynote, which was shocking to see. This options gives you a few pretty colors to choose from just like last year in this price range. The largest difference this year though is they have added dual cameras on the back. 1 wide angle lens and then they have also added an ultra wide angle lens for smaller spaces and to just get more int he shot, say for a large group photo or maybe of that large landscape while on a recent trip.
New to all the iPhone options this year are better video capabilities but the main one thats also available in the iPhone 11 is the ability to edit video all in the camera now. That means boost brightness, color, and also now crop! Which has NEVER been in an iPhone before. You would always have to download a third party app for that.
Then we have one of the really great features to all the iPhones this year, night mode. Something Android and the Google Pixel has had for awhile now but it essentially takes multiple photos and pushes the low light of a bar, restaurant, or concert venue and allows you to get a great shot while in really low light.
One thing I really can’t wait to test out.
Then just a few smaller features added to this years lowest model are some better portoirt mode options, a few gallery style lighting toggles for artsy of friends and families along with slow motion selfies…that they literally called slofies on stage…that actually was said..out loud…at an apple event. They tried to make it seem cheeky and fun but it was super awkward to watch live this week.
Then of course you can now enjoy animojies which was only on the higher end models last year.
iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
The iPhone 11 Pro, and Pro Max. The iPhone 11 and the 11 Pro are roughly the same size. 1 is 5.8 inches (the pro) and one is 6.1 inches (the 11) while the Pro max is 6.5 inches. Its large. The biggest differences in the pro line over the regular phone is their push for a better screen, much better battery life, and also a new triple camera setup on the back fo the phone, which if you ask me looks so bad. I can’t imagine Steve Jobs ever approving that design if he was still around.
BUT, those 3 cameras do pack quite the punch for a creator like myself, or an every day user that might like to take photos with friends and families or while traveling and don’t want to invest hundreds or thousands into photography gear.
So, lens #1 is wide angle, the usual apple flavor. It has a 1.8 aperture to allow more light and a pretty simple 12MP camera sensor. Lens #2 is the telephoto lens, or 2 times zoom. That has a 2.0 aperture lens so SLIGHTLY less light than the first but still pretty damn good for a phone. Then last but not least, the new lens. The 3rd options is an ultra wide angle lens with a 2.4 aperture and a 120 degree field of view, which is VERY wide.
The idea behind this is to give each user more options. The more options I have in my pocket the better when it comes to photography. Whether I want to grab a shot of an animal at the zoo while traveling with the zoom for a close up shot. Or if I am checking out the Grand Canyon on a cross country road trip and want to capture the entire scene with the ultra wide. The option really are vast with the triple lens setup, even though it looks like a flat top stove with 3 burners ready to cook breakfast.
Each camera also allows you to record 4k video in 60 frames per second
Each of these phones start at 999 for the iPhone 11 Pro and 1099 for the larger 11 Pro Max, which for the bang for the bunk in the additional tech is pretty good if you are coming from the 7, 8 or even the X. Though my biggest recommendation is if you are on the iPhone Upgrade Program like I am, I pay monthly to essentially rent the phone from Apple and at the end of the year am given the option to hand the phone back in working order and grab the newest at start the process over again.
So how does that work? Why am I doing that? Well as a creator, photographer, designer, and somewhat of a social media specialist on Instagram I use my phone for EVERYTHING. Its an extension of the process I have built over the years and with the way it works is you pay monthly for the full price of the phone, in this case 999, tax is paid up front, Then make monthly payments. Though if you upgrade every year then you only pay for 12 months, or half to the phones cost and then get the newest offerings.
The catch is, you want that price of the phone you get to roughly stay the same while the features get better. In this case last year I got the iPhone XS which as 999 and this year at the same tier the iPhone 11 Plus is also 999 so my monthly cost will not change. That also includes Apple Care Plus in the case of an accident which is a plus and if you haven’t seen the cost of fixing any smartphone these days is OUTRAGEOUS.
Oh, I almost forgot to talk about battery life. The battery life wasn’t just a measly 5% bump. It was increased by 4 hours in the iPhone 11 Pro, and 5 hours in the iPhone 11 Pro Max. HOURS added to the life of the days battery life. That ins insane.
For me, or any creator that is into photography and uses their phone as an extension of their freelance or side hustle I think its worth the cost and its another pieces of gear in the arsenal of tech I use every single day.
Overall, I think it was a decent day for Apple. They had some great announcements, but nothing too crazy, quite a few duds but mostly I think they really pushed the iPhone forward while also giving a really good first go at streaming with what they are doing with Apple TV+. I will be ordering the iPhone 11 Pro this week and hopefully run it through its paces and give you guys a deeper dive into what it can really do in the hands of a professional that uses their phone for a multitude of things.