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Before we begin...

Did Obama really pretty much declare war on the "Islamic State" just before the 13th anniversary of 9/11? Interesting timing.


Apple's keynote speech, 2014

Amid the pro-Apple press talking of drooling over themselves (yes, really, the epitome of which must be Stephen Fry's "I'm thinking want, want, want; drool, drool drool."). Stepping around the flashy graphics and U2, we learned a few things:
  • Apple still have not sussed server capacity. Their bandwidth and serving abilities took a clobbering with the release of iOS7, and judging by how poor the video stream was, they learned little from that experience. Suffice to say that I didn't see a lot of the speech, when the picture dropped out, if it didn't come right back (it often didn't), then I would switch apps and watch NHK World for a bit. That worked fine.
  • The new iPhone will be bigger. And flatter. And looks suspiciously similar to a Samsung. Funny that.
    Expect poor battery life thanks to a larger display and less space to stick a battery. I wonder if the iPhone to be announced in 2016 will be an iPad Mini with mobile capabilities built in?
  • Apple is introducing its own Apple Pay pay-by-bonk service. Knowing Apple, it will be compatible with itself. Does anybody in Europe actually use NFC?
  • I was surprised to see "Apple XXX" product titles instead of "iXXX" titles. Are Apple weaning themselves away from the 'i' prefix? Just think of all the missed opportunities there - iS**t for an intelligent toilet (runs iOS so you can play sudoku in between grunting); iW**k for the ultimate in least, until iW***k 2.0 is announced; iHurl as a clever elecronic gizmo to combat seasickness, also functions as a GPS receiver to tweet your exact position to the world; iSuck is a computerised vacuum cleaner, like a Roomba but comes complete with an iPhone app so you can sit on your couch and make it perform acrobatics; iSpy....well, information on this product has been redacted.
  • There were fancy graphics. There were mock ups. But where was the product?
    Early in 2015, apparently. Great call, to say "look at all this coolness" and "oh, by the way, you can't even expect one for Christmas".
But, by far, the biggest revelation of the night was the "Apple Watch". Well, what can we say? It is square. And chunky. And has a big crown on the side for controlling some functions. Excited trade press exclaims "This is thumbwheel 2.0!!!". Around here, "meh" is the correct word.
I don't know. I somehow fail to find myself excited by something that looks, well, what's the word? Pedestrian.

All the fanbois who might think an Apple Watch is awesome ought to realise that it needs to be paired up with an iPhone. It doesn't appear to be capable of running by itself. This is reminiscent of the Sony Smartwatch that needed a constant Bluetooth communication with a phone (thus impacting battery life of both devices). The whole "fitness" thing has been covered by Wellograph. And, well, there are plenty of smartwatches already. What is Apple offering, except something that can behave like a stripped-down iPod Nano at several times the price? Here - take a look at this picture posted on Twitter: - on the left, an iPod Nano used as a watch (in 2010) and on the right, the new Apple Watch (2014). Look similar?

Apple like to brag about innovation. Well? Where is the "wow" in this device? Why doesn't it have a round screen? Oh, sure, there are a ridiculous number of UI issues to resolve if you are to make a round screen, though having said that, the one that does can claim to be an innovator. Instead, it is yet another in a long line of SoC-and-display-on-my-wrist devices that needs to be supported with a proper smartphone. Is this Apple playing catch up? It is certainly suspicious that no product was ready for this big presentation, as if to say "look, we're still here".

Meanwhile, far away in the background, the iPod Classic was quietly 'retired' to a we-once-sold-this-but-it-is-now-history status.



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The IT Guy, 14th September 2014, 12:51
Apple now suck worse than Microsoft. Except it's even worse than that, as Apple now have hoards of rabid fanbois foaming at the mouth every time a new iDevice comes out. 
I own one Apple product, a 5th gen iPod Video, in which I've replaced the battery myself (up yours Apple!) and upgraded the 60GB hard disk with a 128GB SSD. Which means I can get my entire music collection on a device the size of a fag packet, with a battery life of 30-something hours. 
And the 4th and 5th gen iPods (the Photo and the Video) have a particularly good Wolfson audio chip in them, and sound much better than the 5.5 gen Classic (which I believe uses a Burr-Brown) or the Touch (Crystal Semiconductor, not a patch on the Wolfson). 
Mind you, we knew this would happen when Steve Jobs left Apple. He may not have walked on water (contrary to what most Apple fanbois think) but he did at least design products that people actually wanted to buy. And not just because they said "Apple" on them.

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