Apple: Cutting the cord with the iPhone 7
When I walked into the hands-on testing area at last week’s splashy Apple product launch in San Francisco, it took me a good five minutes to realize that the smartphone in front of me was actually the device that Apple was billing as the latest, greatest iPhone, said David Pierce in Wired.com. Technically, I know that the new iPhone 7 and slightly larger iPhone 7 Plus pack in more computing power than any of their predecessors. But apart from a new digital Home button that you don’t have to click and the absence of the traditional headphone jack, in look and feel the iPhone 7 is virtually indistinguishable from the iPhone 6S. “I kept thinking I must have missed something.” If the tech reviewers are struggling to see the upgrades, you can bet the average consumer won’t even notice most of the phone’s incremental tweaks, said Mike Murphy in Qz.com. “Much like with Hollywood, Apple’s sequels are starting to feel more and more derivative.”
Ignore the haters, said Vlad Savov in TheVerge.com. The iPhone 7 “is shaping up to be yet another excellent update to what was already, for many people, the best smartphone in the world.” If you’re not an engineer, it may be hard to appreciate details like the iPhone’s new A10 fusion computer chip, which optimizes battery life without sacrificing performance. The result is that the 7 has the longest battery life of any iPhone, “the sort of meaningful upgrade almost everyone values.” The 12-megapixel camera is also the company’s “best ever.” And to make room for all the photos you’ll take, Apple doubled the amount of available storage at each price point, up to 256GB. Oh, and the phone is waterproof. Quite simply, no other smartphone compares. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 looked like a contender, but its explodingbattery issues have led to a massive recall. So, for now, I’m happily sticking with Apple.
Can we talk about Apple killing the headphone jack? said Chris Taylor in Mashable.com. Users now get to pick between the headache of using an adapter to make their old-fashioned headphones work with the new iPhone, or the pain of paying Apple $159 for a pair of its fancy new wireless “AirPods.” Ludicrously, Apple says it jettisoned the jack because it takes “courage” to move on and embrace something new. Sure, if courage means gouging your customers over an “expensive, unwieldy, and easy-to-lose dongle.” “Greed” seems like a better word for it. Don’t underestimate the AirPods, said Will Oremus in Slate.com. These aren’t your ordinary Bluetooth earpieces; they’re tiny, portable in-ear computers. AirPods instantly pair with whatever Apple device you’re using, respond to voice commands, and connect to Apple’s personal assistant Siri when you tap your ear. “For once, Apple’s announcement of a new gizmo may have undersold, rather than oversold.”