* If I open the case near my phone, it automatically pairs and shoes battery levels.
* They sound decent for earbuds (not in-ear plugs which I hate)
* Lasts reasonable amount of time on its battery and quickly charges while in case.
I could not get this experience ever before and honestly, even after I have had it for a year. I don't know of a better competition to it.
But, letting the Mac lineup vanquish with old internals for years and gouging prices on soldered SSDs and memory - no excuse, that's just shitty.
As an Android user, airpods didn't offer that much functionality, was $160+, looked like qtips sticking out of my ear, and the sound wasn't that great either.
I think the $40 enacfires might have had a better bass than the airpods. I've gotten intimate with these products down to Bluetooth compatibility and chipsets. In my opinion, it's a lot of hype at a high price point when it costs nowhere close. I'm mind blown by the marketing genius. At the same time, I will never go back to wired, wireless is amazing. Companies sure are milking this new technology though and it's just getting started.
Walmart has wired earbuds for under $5, which are quite small (they fit in your ears), have perpetual battery life (because they have no battery!), the same functionality (they play sound, in your ears), great range and great audio quality.
And you won't have to replace them in two years. Isn't that great?
And even if the airpods aren’t worth the investment for you personally, the fact that Apple is innovating here will hopefully push other manufacturers to innovate and maybe someday all Bluetooth headphones will be as painless, even ones that are significantly cheaper.
As an analogy, I hated the iPhone in its first few years on the market. I was perfectly happy with my windows mobile smartphone with its QVGA resistive stylus-based touchscreen, enormous thick physical keyboard. I thought everyone that paid $800 for a sexy but functionally limited iPhone was a sheep. But Apple forced the smartphone industry to play by a different rulebook, and now I’m pretty excited with the levels of innovation that happens across all manufacturers.
It's so drastically better than anything on the market, that I'll immediately buy a new pair if I lose my current ones. I wouldn't even think twice about the price.
There is no other headphones on the market where I can play 1:1 basketball for hours, have the headphones never fall out, and I don't even notice I have them on the entire time. They're a part of me. I literally forget that I have them in my ears, and they easily switch between all of the devices in my life in a way no other headphones do. It's a signficant quality of life improvement for me.
It's a one-size-fits-all design and if it's a little off you're kinda out of luck. They fit me perfectly though which is one of the things that blew my mind initially. I didn't realize how many of previous fit issues were a result of having a cord that tugs when you make any movements.
* like pretty much all Apple earbuds, they don't seal to my ear so they're totally useless in loud places like airplanes (my #1 use case for headphones)
* audio frequently drops out, especially when outside (and there's nothing for the bluetooth signal to reflect off of)
* terrible mic quality for phone calls
* unreliable pairing to my Surface Pro
* one more thing for me to forget to charge
Some of this is anecdata and maybe I just have lemon AirPods, but my experience has been very far from "there's no going back and there's no comparison". I'd sell them without reservation if I didn't feel weird in general about selling earbuds.
A couple of those points are not my experience at all. My audio never drops out unless I'm far out of range or in a weird weather environment and my mic quality is excellent (in fact, I take calls regularly).
It's also convenient not to have to manage bluetooth pairing, though I usually find that to be less of a problem with most headphones and more of a problem with various car audio systems and some speakers.
So, Airpods solve those problems.
IMO none of this justifies removing the headphone jack and therefore the option of spending only $5-$20 on your headphones, and the particular solution package airpods embody won't justify their price for me: I've never liked Apple's earbuds, more of an over-the-ear fan anyway, $20-$40 over the ear bluetooth headsets work fine for me, if I'm spending $100+ on headphones they're going to be focused on audio quality in a way Apple will never prioritize over industrial design aesthetics and ecosystem.
But, Airpods still solve those problems, and people who love the particular package have a right to enjoy it.
Window Maker hasn't changed in a very long time.
Being able to use your phone as a camera to take a photo directly into a document in Pages on your computer is a pretty cool trick.
Having your airpods pairing sync between your devices and easily jump to the device you're using is really well done (from what I hear, I don't have them myself).
A phone getting more than two years of software updates may not be flashy, but I'm more interested in that than anything else that phone manufacturers are doing.
The old Mac Mini started at $499 with a slow processor even when it was new, a slow hard drive and 4GB of RAM. That was a configuration that no one should have bought. The cheapest previous Mac Mini that anyone should have bought was $699.
The other thing I think people are failing to realize, is who is the Mac Mini for? It used to be for Windows switchers who wanted to plug in a small box to their existing mouse/keyboard/monitor situation. It was an introduction to the world of OS X. Nowadays, who uses the Mac Mini? Developers who need to compile in Xcode, and probably some creatives. The device serves a much different purpose nowadays, since most of your casual Apple users can get away with an iPad or a MB/MBA.
Personally, the new Mac Mini really appeals to me, regardless of price. I've been using a 2012 era mac mini machine, and the current bottle neck is the CPU. If I can spend $700 today, and have a capable macOS device for another 6-7 years, with some RAM upgrades, I think that's well worth it.
Granted there's some tradeoff with repairs, if your Mac dies you probably can't go on Newegg, get a replacement part, and have it fixed yourself in 2 days. But that tradeoff has worked out well for me so far.
A usable Mac Mini was at least $699.
If you are so inclined you can use an eGPU something you couldn’t do on any previous Mac Mini.
The SSD is non-negotiable today though, I'll give you that one.
Of course a lot of the target market for Macs like that would be better served by iPads now.
But, until two months ago, I was using a circa 2009 Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz laptop with 4GB of RAM with an external USB drive running Windows 10 as a Plex Server. It could do one or two streams depending on the bit rate. It could not do a 4K stream.
Apple's strength, be it when they are doing it well or not, has always been UX.
back when it was mac os x versus windows xp, sure, apple was well ahead of everyone else. that isn't true anymore, but people still claim it.
Unless you're holding it wrong.
Or trying to use it in some way contrary to corporate policy.
Or trying to fix it.
In the last two cases, you realize the rest of that aphorism: It Just Works For Apple.
One day I wondered what happens if it can see two paired devices - does it forget one? Is there some unusably awful UX? Does it brick them altogether?
So I paired the Linux laptop. The dongle (which says "Connected" when I turn it on normally near the phone) now says "Second. Device. Connected" when it can also see the laptop. It appeared as one of the output options in the laptop's audio settings. If you play music on the phone, or receive a call, the music on the laptop stops, and you can take the call (or listen to music) instead.
Essentially, with the cheapest available product it appears to be as you say "completely painless". What exactly are Airpods / Apple doing here that makes it worth the extra? Maybe the voice telling you what's going on is nicer?
They could if Apple would license out the W1 chip, or even sell dongles with W1 functionality that convert the 3.5mm jacks in headphones into bluetooth (like one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Receiver-TaoTronics-Hands-F...).
Of course they never will, but a man can dream.
now i know
How long till Apple start putting their A-series chips in Macs?
My bet is that over the years iPad Pro will expand to do more and more of the jobs that people traditionally use MacBooks (or laptops in general) to do. We'll eventually see a world where most people have iPads, not laptops - thereby relying on A-series chips, not Intel, to get their work done. iPad sales are already encroaching Mac sales, and Apple already acknowledges that for most people, the iPad is enough to be their primary computer or soon will be (you can see this in their communications and commercials).
I know it might be difficult for a somewhat technical (and maybe a little bit older) community like HN to imagine, but this is one of my strong beliefs with regards to Apple's product lineup. I truly think the iPad Pro is the dark horse that no one will see coming (especially given that Apple themselves hadn't really focused on iPad deeply for the first couple years of its existence).
I think people have used iOS long enough to see that it's pretty limited as far as file management goes. The great multitasking of the iPad is still limited to split screening just two apps, a big step down in productivity from even classic MacOS of the 90s.
They each represent 2 different opinionated views of productivity/creative-focused computing (just like the 2 different opinions of Android vs iOS in mobile computing). I think you're right that today the Surface does far better in the IO department and IO is a dealbreaker for a lot of people. But again, the world isn't standing still, and Apple just released an iPad Pro with USB-C....that's definitely signaling something.
We don't have to make this a conversation about Apple. I think the whole industry is moving in that direction.
Interestingly, I don't have the same belief in ChromeOS. I don't think it'll ever be truly competitive with the Surface or iPad lineup partly because Microsoft still has a stranglehold on the desktop/laptop market. It'll be easy and tempting to move to a Surface device that can do so much more than ChromeOS without changing your existing workflow from Windows.
Android? Well, Android tablets have languished for a very long time - it's basically a dead market walking. The problem isn't so much the hardware languishing as much as it's the software ecosystem that languishes as a result. Even if the Android ecosystem catches up hardware-wise, it'll be a while before the app ecosystem gets kickstarted again.
I used to think phones and tablets would be defined by lower performance but extremely energy efficient. And any learning from these low power designs would leak to desktops and laptops, but with more power to play with, they would be faster.
But now we’ve got these very powerful iPads and iPhones, but they exist in a limited ecosystem.
The Surface may not have the fancy A12 SoC but the entire line up seems to have intel cpus and run Windows. And their product lineup seems to be a single platform with increasing capabilities. Tablet, better tablet, laptop, better laptop. But you can run all the same stuff.
I’d love Mac OS in an iPad right now that can use the same binaries.
Whether or not the iPad pro has good hardwear is irrelevant.
What matters is that it is missing and extremely important feature, which is a mouse and keyboard.
I don't care how powerful a keyboard is if I can't use a physical keyboard and mouse for it.
Power can't beat UX, and boy is the keyboard good UX when you compare it to tablets or phones.
What I think you're missing is that the world will evolve in ways to accommodate a mouse-light interface or evolve to include it if it becomes obvious that it's mission-critical (it's not at all obvious today, despite legacy thinking). Neither version of the future precludes the iPad at all. Just look at the new gestural interface on the new iPhone X/XR/XS devices. It makes navigating the OS effortless and super fast in ways that it simply wasn't before. Before it, people were saying that it's too slow to navigate on a mobile device. How many other innovations like that are coming down the line? We don't know.
I say this as someone who's used an iPad Pro along with the Keyboard Cover for quite some time. No, you won't be able to type on it for hours and hours. But you'll be able to type on it for an hour or so consistently. That's a BIG deal, and changes A LOT. It's only going to get better from here. There are a lot of apps that support countless keyboard shortcuts, including Google's whole G Suite, Office 365, Lightroom, and the upcoming full version of Photoshop in 2019.
If you asked me 3 years ago if I thought the iPad would replace Laptops, I'd tell you probably not. Apple had done little to differentiate it from the iPhone lineup in terms of iOS or even hardware features. But with the iPad Pro specifically, I think things have taken a real turn and Apple is signaling that they're ready to focus on taking it from a media consumption device to a more productive, mission-critical device.
120hz refresh rate, full digitizer, Apple Pencil, the new integrated keyboard cases, a new focus on pro apps, and a ton of improvements to the actual UI/UX to make multitasking and app-switching easier....etc etc. These were all the things that were missing for a long time. But Apple is finally doing all the things needed to move iPad in a direction where people will choose it over laptops at an increasing rate.
The kicker is this: Apple announced recently during WWDC that iOS apps will work on MacOS. Many of their new stock apps in MacOS Mojave are just ported iOS apps. They are truly and confidently doubling down on iOS and iPad.
That's my personal prediction and belief anyway.
Yes, iPads could be useful for some circumstances, but power was never the limiting factor.
Take an iPad from 5 years ago, and you have something that works just as well for all iPad usecases.
My point is that I don't think anyone could imagine sitting 8 hours a day, typing away at an iPad.
For office work, a mouse and keyboard is essential.
How can you possible spend hours typing away at something that doesn't have a keyboard? And the vast majority of office usecases involve lots and lots of typing and mouse usage.
An iPad being useful is not the same thing as replacing office work.
I know these are synthetic benchmarks, but it's incredible to see the A12X outperform the iMac 27" Retina... These chips have the potential to blow the doors off of Intel's Core i7/i9 while having 2x the battery life.
What most people call a Mac? I'm betting 2020.
If you expand your thought a bit, you could say they already have the A-series chips in a Mac with the new iPad Pros. It looks like before long Adobes creative suite will be on the iPad Pro. It has a keyboard, can hook up to external monitors, etc... And, while it still would not work for most people on HN, it is getting very close to a full computer replacement for many.
Moore's Law truly ending would cause a lot of upheaval. Is causing, but luckily a lot of the industry has shifted focus to mobile anyway, where advancements continue to accelerate for now.
I agree it doesn’t excuse the lack of attention to Mac hardware though. That’s something I find absolutely baffling; I don’t understand the reason why they’re not periodically releasing newer Macs instead of letting whole chunks of the product line rot. I get that consumer devices are more profitable, but I struggle to think that they wouldn’t still make a handsome sum of money. The product lineup is still kind of spotty and weird. That said, it’s possible that the recent releases and upcoming Mac Pro will mark a bit of a change of pace on this front.
It's a fine big pile of beans financially, but ambitions for the future UX and brand image - including support - seem to be shrinking rather than expanding.
Edit: Samsung/Microsoft/Google are free to come up with their own ecosystem and quality hardware devices that don't have the drawbacks that Apple's do. But for some reason they don't.
Apple may not always have the specs or work best with non-Apple services, but Apple products are consistently high quality, integrate nicely into Apple's ecosystem, and are brand that shows its owners are a certain type of class. Signifying you're of a certain type of class or are "hip" seems to be what so many tech people get hung up upon yet its basic consumerism.
Certain types of people wear Nike clothes or wear Ralph Lauren, or drive a Tesla. Showing you're a HENRY (High Earner; Not Rich Yet) is apart of Apple's appeal.
So no, people know there are Apple alternatives but they don't care because Apple has an appeal that other tech companies have trouble emulating on top of constantly being high quality products. There's almost no Apple product that is "bottom of the barrel" in terms of quality.
I do not personally prefer Apple cause it is not my cup of tea (and I need headphone jack) but they have been coming up with amazing phones year after year, and you can easily skip a year without it affecting your usage.
They cannot reinvent the wheel every time.
Apple don't make camera sensors, yet.
The problem is after other poor experiences I will only get a Google phone. The Pixel 3 XL with 128gb is $999. A new iPhone Xs is 1249 for the 256gb. Is taking yet another chance on Android worth $250? How well will that Pixel 3 XL even be supported?
It just isn't as simple as no one does any research.
I've made four attempts to consider an Android ecosystem and have owned the following:
Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Note 5, and Pixel 2XL.
The Nexus/Pixel phone hardware were fine, but I found that the software ecosystem was heavily lacking. I got the impression that to the majority of Android devs, UX was the last thing they cared about.
The Note 5 on the other hand was one of the most disrespectful, anti-consumer experiences I had ever encountered since ditching a dumbphone years ago. The carrier I used (Verizon) felt it was appropriate to plaster its own logo on the back of the phone and in a loading splash screen when powering on the phone, plus preload the phone with a bunch of useless apps that could not be uninstalled.
Every single time that I've purchased an Android device hoping that it was finally good enough, I've ended up carrying my iPhone as a secondary device within a week and either returning or throwing the Android device in the drawer within a month.
Microsoft are adding headphones to the Surface range very soon, early reviews are very positive.
Windows is what you use when you're a kid at a public school or have parents that don't have the money to buy a Mac. Macs and iPhones are trendy because not everyone owns them, they're really nice, and they're pricey.
Windows is like Wal-mart while Apple is Whole Foods.
Microsoft allows venders with terrible design teams to sell their product and customers associate Windows with these product lines. Microsoft cannot control their brand.
Apple controls the entire stack so they're able to constantly deliver a quality experience.
If all Windows machines were like the Surface Book then this conversation would be different.
Honestly I would have gone to primarily linux instead of mac years ago if osx hadn't been what it is (bsd/*nix).
and it hasn't been for a long time. Apple was at their peak imo with the MacBook pro a generation or two back. They took out the disk drive (everyone said that was radical, but hadn't used it in years) and worked with the single piece of aluminum. Nowadays, that's not just familiar, it's pedestrian. There's plenty of options in the PC world that have that. What has apple done since? Removed magsafe and usb a??? Made the worst laptop keyboard to be on a flagship in memory?
It used to be that Apple was the only place you could get great design, a phenomenal screen, and good battery life in the same package. But other manufacturers (especially Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft) have seriously stepped up.
The problem with arguments like this is that they're self-reinforcing. If I try to refute it, you'll just peg me as an "osxistan" (is that a country?) and say I've proven you right.
After six months of struggle with the Dell, I got a MBP. I actually love the keyboard. The speakers are amazing. The trackpad is the industry best. Bluetooth works perfectly. The screen is gorgeous, the build quality is unmatched, and Mac OS is intuitive, clutter free, and stable.
Night and day difference between them.
I could have, but I didn't see much reason to because you didn't seem open to a discussion. You preemptively dismissed any argument by implying that anyone who disagrees with you is a "osx stan".
> alternatively, you could of course explain why you think apple laptops are the best choice still in 2018(if that's how you feel)
I do feel that Apple laptops are the best choice _for me_. I don't much care what laptop you use. I think everyone should pick the tools that work best for them. We don't have to be on the same platform to collaborate.
My main reason for choosing Apple laptops is macOS, but I also think the hardware is very good. Expensive, but very good.
The tech press cares a whole lot about having a steady stream of new and shiny things. But I think most people want to live in a world where their relationship to technology involves just buying the best one you can afford at the time and use it until it either stops working or is no longer adequate to your needs. Then you repeat.
Banking on loyalty isn't a bad thing. It means people think your product is reliable and served them well the last time they made the purchase.
These are all open product frontiers, and the next+++(+) iPad Pro is going to become increasingly irrelevant unless Apple develops a strong lead in at least some of them.
You can see the movement being made in a few of these, but there's no evidence so far of any likely game changers in the pipeline - just slimmer and more minimal hardware, with a few OS tweaks.
I just wish they had decent objective quality numbers like I can find for even fairly cheap wired headphones via InnerFidelity. Anyone know if these are widely published for any of the wireless headphones?
They have most truly wireless earphones, but the OP Bullets aren't on there yet.
This is my biggest worry with wireless - paying a lot more money for a lot less in the quality department. Thanks for the link though, seems like good data and I'll definitely check out some other options.
I love 'em, and I want them to be better :)
They were designed to be used whilst people are walking around doing everyday things. That includes being near traffic where cancelling all of the noise can kill you.
Expect them to do noise cancelling in over ear form as part of Beats brand similar to 1000MX3 and QC35.
If I’d ever noticed someone wearing the ridiculous Google Pixel Buds, I’d probably do the same thing. Life’s too short to waste on poor technology — and Bluetooth headphones are a poor replacement for headphones (and keyboards, and mice). I’m reminded a bit of those ludicrous TV infomercials: ‘Aren’t you tired of the hassle of tying your own shoes? Try new Velcro TieMasters™, and never tie a shoe again!’
The Apple ecosystem itself is innovative and I don't think there's a single company that does it better.
They still lead in interfaces (biometrics...FaceID) and multi-touch gestures.
I don't use Siri, but I'm glad they are developing that technology in a way that doesn't flat-out violate the privacy of their users. I just hope all the criticism comparing Siri versus Google Assistant and Cortana don't push them to change that posture.
It feels like Apple hate is becoming a meme. You can certainly criticize the company... their product line is becoming confusing, but to say they "used" to be an innovator is ignorant.
Hasn't it always been, though? This probably comes off as conspiracy-theoretic, but I feel like there's a real financial incentive to keep their stock prices as in-flux as possible to allow for proper buy-in/cash-out gains.
By far the most common cause of Apple hate I see is what appears to be consumers who are essentially disgruntled that none of Apple's products are targeted at their own use case: eg. gamers who always decried the Mac Pro because they wanted a cheap traditional desktop, not a workstation; or people who wish Apple was competing in the $500 laptop market, or the 8+lbs mobile workstation or gaming laptop market. A large portion of complaints about Apple hardware being overpriced can be traced back to misunderstandings about what Apple's actually selling and how it differs from the Dell that somebody tries to compare it to. (Of course, there are plenty of things that Apple does over-charge for.)
Next most common are probably the people who despise the "walled garden". They're quite vocal in these parts of the web, but I doubt they outnumber the previous category of Apple detractors.
Anybody who thinks Apple isn’t innovating is an ignorant jackass.
Of course let's count the number of years it took them to get there from the newton. You can't just shit out a new groundbreaking ecosystem/product every year like clockwork. If you try 99% of those will be huge misses.
And the level of sophistication and complexity in the Series 4 version is really impressive e.g. ECG, Heart Rate Monitor, Siri, Apple Pay.
huh...not a joke
I think that title is still held by Samsung's Note 9 stylus.
The face is not a particularly good biometric modality - its main use is identification without user cooperation.
Iris recognition wins in pretty much every category.
Also, good luck finding a phone that doesn’t do that.
> Also, good luck finding a phone that doesn’t do that.
Not a good defense of amoral behavior.
Perhaps the worst one is that you cannot easily unlock your phone while it lays on a conference room table to see the contents of a message. You need to picking it up and point it at your face. Likewise when using the phone while it is in a stand/holder.
The one and only benefit I found is during the winter, it is easier to unlock the phone with gloves on.
Both of them are terrible for security.
Please stop propagating this falsehood, or at least accept that it comes with caveats. Biometric ID on Apple devices is likely to be a significant improvement for many users.
If you're trying to secure your data from the NSA, carry a flip phone and turn it off and throw it in the freezer before you have any sensitive in-person conversations. Also have all of your sensitive in-person conversations right next to a loud white noise generator (i.e. on the seashore). And memorize all of your confidential information. And always carry a highly reliable suicide method in case you get captured and interrogated.
I'm not being funny here, these are literally the precautions that people take against state-level espionage.
I think the OP is signaling they were already aware of the threat model point before your comment.
Here's a contemporary article doubting it: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/11/hacke...
Given how sensitive FaceID is I don't think this is a realistic bypass approach. Not that it was even confirmed anyway.
However, I recognize this is an edge case.
But in situations where it fails I find that it fails harder and repeatedly, which makes you want to choose a simple password (perhaps that's why Apple tucks away the alphanumeric option). When a phone is laying flat on a desk, you can lean your face over the phone. When your head is on a pillow, you can lift your head off the pillow. When the lighting conditions aren't good, you can just turn on the lights and position the phone at that "magic distance" until it unlocks. But if you don't it'll just fail again and again.
As a minor point, I'm surprised that you prefer to double press while looking at your phone, versus having a fingerprint reader on the back so you can unlock your phone in one gesture of hand toward the payment system.
Huh? Face ID uses infrared. It doesn't need external light.
You're right about the pillow thing, but the way I see it, if you can't lift your head off a pillow you probably shouldn't be using your phone!
The double-press for Apple Pay? In many situations you don't actually have to do this. Just place the phone up against the store's reader, then look directly at the phone and Apple Pay will activate without further interaction.
On London Underground and Buses, though, that's awkward and might hold up the queue, so I do double-tap to activate Apple Pay in advance before getting to the reader. But that's certainly no more difficult than with Touch ID, when you had to double-tap the home button.
(Also, you don't have to double-press and look simultaneously. The double-press will activate Apple Pay, then a quick glance at the phone will unlock it for payment. You then have a minute or so to actually touch it on the card reader).
Apple did not need to introduce FaceID... seems to me a non-inventing landlord would have just ridden TouchID as long as possible.
that's easy to do if you're driving a car and you get pulled over, but what if a cop stops you on the street? reaching into your pocket is asking to get shot.
The one that does is to rapidly press the power button 5 times.
considering a random scribble on a receipt or check is enough to authorize/authenticate a transaction, that bar is pretty low.
Somewhat like Windows Hello, that also existed, based on technology from the Xbox Kinect?
> Two months ago, Apple announced an ECG sensor for your wrist.
Okay, so this is cool. But, putting on my paramedic hat for a moment, there is _SO_ much disinformation about what this does and what it is capable of detecting, what the difference is between FDA _clearance_ and _approval_, etc.
It can detect A-fib. This is a common, but usually not life threatening medical condition. It's good to have it diagnosed, but even undiagnosed, many people live happy lives blisfully unaware of it. Another way you can potentially recognize A-fib? It's not quite as fancy as the Apple Watch, though: put your fingers on your radial pulse by your wrist. Feel yourself skipping every fourth beat? That _could_ be a problem (though there are other diagnoses).
The Apple Watch does not and _cannot_ (despite ill-informed articles by Cnet and others) take the place of a "12 lead" ECG (random detail, in the medical field, ECG usually refers to an echocardiogram, an ultrasound imaging, and EKG, for electrocardiogram, is most commonly used for what the Apple Watch and other devices are doing).
From Cnet: "Traditional EKG machines have 12 leads with electrodes that are attached all over your body to measure the electrical signals. Apple compares what the Apple Watch Series 4 does to a single-lead EKG, which research shows is just as effective at measuring the heart's electrical signals as a 12-lead machine."
This is flat out and factually wrong. The linked research shows nothing of the sort, and tries to walk someone through using a single lead system multiple times (up to 10), to get the full results of a 12 lead (if you've ever wondered why a 12 lead EKG only requires 10 physical leads, think of them more as 'axes', measured multiple ways, i.e. from lead 1 to lead 4, lead 1 to 5, etc), and then being able to aggregate them manually. For one, this requires moving the end points of the leads multiple times, something you could not do with the Apple Watch (or, to be clear and fair, any other watch), unless you're planning on holding it in many different spots in sequence (which then has issues of being more a time lapse, than a snapshot).
What does that mean? It can't diagnose impending heart attacks, nor heart disease, valve problems, circulatory disorders, and it likely never will, especially with current hardware.
This is also why it's obtained FDA clearance, not approval. To use a metaphor, it's more like a fitness device on steroids, so to speak, with some minor overlap into general health. But not that much more.
The criticism always comes back to how impactful the original iPhone and iPod were. Apple has failed to live up to that standard ever since, but to be honest it's an impossible standard to be held to.
Bloomberg is in the midst of a credibility-destroying fight with Apple over a sensational story that no other journalists can corroborate. Bloomberg has dug in, staking their reputation on Apple being wrong.
Seemingly in response Bloomberg... publishes a hand-wavy piece of cultural criticism about the meaning of Apple doing iterative design?
Don't worry, Apple can survive some criticism.
I don't think there's a conspiracy. I don't know whether Bloomberg or Apple are right. I didn't comment on that. But I do think this article and the lack of a disclosure is a horrible look for Bloomberg.
P.S. it's even worse that the hypocrite fans don't callout when the paid-for praise happens without disclaimer. And that happens way more often.
I agree with you—if a company advertises with a given outlet and journalists write stories about that company, positive or negative, I'd like to know about it. Unlike in this case, there is the supposed "separation of church and state" that protects newsrooms from the advertising side of these businesses. But I'm skeptical that works perfectly in practice.
But this is something else entirely. There's no firewall between Bloomberg's editors and... Bloomberg's editors.
So, when SJ came back to Apple, he reorganized their (then at the time) computer lines into more streamlined ones. Something like (I might get some of the names wrong), into consumer/pro and portable/desktop
Now look at their line now
What the F is an iPhone XR? Is the XS "better" than the X or not? Why are there 2 iPad Pros? Is an iPad 4 better than an iPad? Which one is which?
Not to mention the dongles, USB-C mess, etc
To your point, you can actually buy 2 different Macbook Airs from their official shop, clicking through the glossy introduction of the one released last week, 5th generation i5 or 8th generation i5 with TouchID, slim bezel, USB C etc
Expanding SKUs was also a Jobs decision. He cut the computer line back to the quadrants in the late 90s as a way to triage the company. But later he oversaw the introduction of multiple new product lines, models, sizes, and color combinations.
Critics fretted about focus when he introduced the Cube, when he introduced the iPod, when he introduced the Macbook Air, when he introduced the iPad, when he introduced the Xserve, when he introduced the Hi-Fi. Some of them worked, some of them didn't. The ones that worked, really worked well though.
iMac SE / iBook SE
iMac Aluminum - Core2/i3/i5/i7 20, 21, 24, 27
iPod Mini/Shuffle/Nano/Touch 3rd 4th 5th gen
Apple has stopped including strings like "2.4GHz Core 2 Duo/2GB/256MB VRAM/160GB 5400rpm", but then only half of that is accurate for the machine I just read that off of, because of upgrades. (And that label was only accessible by pulling out the battery.)
>What the F is an iPhone XR? Is the XS "better" than the X or not?
Somewhat agree about the XR, though I guess the idea is it's one less than an S, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say their "S" naming scheme has been consistent since it was introduced after the iPhone 4.
> Why are there 2 iPad Pros?
Steve once said netbooks were dead, then released a laptop in exactly that form factor (11 in MBA). Clearly there was market demand for it, and I assume their must be demand for both sizes here as well.
> Is an iPad 4 better than an iPad?
Agree here, they've changed this particular convention a lot, but looks like we're settling on Pro and base.
> Not to mention the dongles, USB-C mess, etc
Very much agree here. I really, really hope dongle hell will be a short lived phenomenon and USB-C adoption in peripherals and the rest of the industry picks up. Apple has been right about big bets like this before, so hopefully here too, but right now, it is definitely a mess.
Just a point of clarification on netbooks. Netbooks were a flop because they were bulky, slow, hard to type on, had terrible screens, and came with minuscule trackpads.
The air was none of those things, and was the progenitor of a new class of laptop that would be known as "Ultrabooks".
SJ was a salesman - he'd say untrue things to make his product look good, like trash-talking 5.5-inch phones(!) and saying "no-one wants 'Hummer' phones" while - you guessed it - Apple had larger phones in the pipeline, because the demand was there.
Same with the netbooks, weren't those often 9" 16:9 with terrible Atom CPU and slow HD?
We may never be fully rid of USB-A since it's embedded everywhere into things like homes and cars, but it makes a lot of sense for USB-C to replace all the other permutations (B, mini, micro, lightning, etc) found on devices.
What is lacking, perhaps, is a standard way to visually identify these capabilities.
An internal message of “I dare you to prove me wrong” could be demoralizing to some but cause others to rise to the occasion.
I certainly don't find it obvious that XR means "less" than XS. I could just as easily see it meaning "greater", in the way that the 18th rank is greater" than the 19th rank (in this case the ranked things being letters). Until I actually learned the difference, I actually had thought that the XR was the more expensive one.
Personally, I think they should have just called it the new iPhone X. And eventually we'd start differentiating by year (iPhone X 2017), as we have with the iPad and Mac line for quite some time.
†Then again, this is the company that released a product called "iPad" and managed to make us forget how stupid that sounds.
Apple is milking its essentially captive audience. I hesitate to call it “loyal” — these are, essentially, people who look with trepidation at the idea of moving years of photos and other data to a different system.
My wife gnashed her teeth when she got one of the new, wildly overpriced iPhones — but she just can’t imagine switching to Android.
But the kids who didn't get on the Apple bandwagon when iTunes was a groundbreaking exciting thing with an Apple ecosystem that made it all work wonderfully?
I suspect that the kids who expect parents to pay for everything might be burdened with commodity Android devices that cost a lot less than the deluxe Apple phones. Lose the phone too often and it becomes a distinctly mid to low end commodity Android device. If that happens then they get to be outside the Android ecosystem and grow up not needing Apple. Meanwhile, the parents just don't replace their phones often enough as what they have is good enough.
Apple can't produce a low-end device as this would cannibalise their premium sales so they are stuck in the realm of hardware and need to push this services model on their customer base.
As time goes on an a phone is just a commodity 'hand rectangle' with little class value. Having the latest and greatest doesn't make you one of the cool kids any more than having a fancy laptop makes you special. There are no queues outside the stores on launch day anymore and there is no returning to that.
A further problem that Apple have is the amount of markets affected by currencies that have gone south or are protected by tariffs. This affects their competitors too, slowing down the upgrade cycle. The UK is a significant market for Apple and after the Brexit vote the pound lost 20% of value making the latest and greatest iphone cost a pretty penny. Unless you are rich enough for these things to not matter then you do have to ask what you are getting for paying five times as much for a fancy iPhone rather than a similarly sized screen on an Android budget device, particularly when signal strength/battery is a huge part of what the product is.
I've really really enjoyed the switch. Admittedly, it helped that I got the iPhone SE which hadn't been discontinued yet; I might have been less happy with the newer X-series phones, particularly given the sticker price.
I've been a mac user for many years but can't really justify the price of an iphone. I've been considering making the switch though, for better integration, privacy and smaller phone. Not sure it's worth it.
Of course, the price issue was a little different for me since I prefer not to replace devices often, so the longer software support actually means if I amortize the cost of the phone over the time that I use it, iPhones actually come out ahead of Android phones on price.
A two-year-old iPhone still gets about 3 years of updates - more than most flagship Androids.
Heck, I'm still on iOS 10 because I havn't found 64 bit versions of some of my most used apps.
OS fragmentation: doesn't apply if you're not a developer, just pick a phone that will have a reasonable amount of updates over its lifetime
Privacy protection: really depends how you feel about Google on this one
Presence of a secure element: this one really depends on your threat profile
Easier said than done, especially when looking for more obscure apps. Also, it's not easy for non-technical folks to tell the difference...
> OS fragmentation: doesn't apply if you're not a developer, just pick a phone that will have a reasonable amount of updates over its lifetime
How long is "reasonable" relative to iOS? I recently moved from Android to iOS mainly because of this.
> Privacy protection: really depends how you feel about Google on this one
I'm not sure feelings are relevant here. The truth is simply the truth.
> Presence of a secure element: this one really depends on your threat profile
Agreed, but it's good to have the extra security guarantees.
4 years, basically.
Nexus 6 was supported for all security updates from launch in November 2014 to this month (November 2018). In terms of feature updates, it got up to Android 7.1.1, and I am not aware of any major app that wouldn't run on that today. Not exactly great, but certainly not a new phone per year. I believe Apple's policy is 5 years, rather than 4, with a reported risk of iOS updates purposefully making the original hardware performance worse (e.g. battery life).
Strictly as a geeky side note, if you have the time to spend DIYing your primary mobile OS (which, admittedly, very few people would prefer doing), there are pretty cool third-party Android distros and other OSes that will keep a Nexus 4 (2012, 6 years old) alive and well. Possibly a Galaxy Nexus (2011, 7 years old) too, but I am less sure about that...
Edit: To clarify, what I am saying is that, for most users, iOS' long term support is better than Android's. But, for Google phones and the like, it is only slightly better, not day-and-night better.
Can you make a recommendation here? I am an iPhone user who might be inclined to switch to Android, but I still haven't found a phone that would satisfy this criterion. To clarify: "reasonable" for me means ~5 years, as this is how long I expect to keep using the same phone.
FWIW, phones aren't designed to last 5 years. The batteries aren't, the screens aren't, the casing isn't, and the hardware generally doesn't (newer software = more demanding).
That said, if you do require to use the same device for five years, and need the latest software on it, than Apple is probably your only option.
FWIW I’m typing this on a 4 year old iPhone and I expect it to easily last another year. Battery was replaced once.
Modern smart phones are complex, expensive, ressource intensive assemblies. Swapping them out every 2 years is crazy (... and yet common, sadly)
I have and enjoy the Pixel 2 and plan on keeping it for at least another two years. The Pixel 3 (non-xl) would be an ideal phone if you are moving from iPhone and are looking for a long term, well-supported phone.
So which Android phone could I have bought in 2013 that would still be getting updates like the iPhone 5s?
Define reasonable. In order to get Android updates for any amount of time, you mostly have to pick higher end phones. Well, If I am expected to pay laptop prices for a phone, I should be able to keep it for as long as I keep a laptop. Two years of updates isn't cutting it anymore.
I'm not sure what you mean by OS fragmentation. Different vendors offer their own branches so maybe you will find that you like one vs the other? Some people prefer Samsung's Android, others prefer the stock experience. Its really just a matter of personal preference for most people.
Privacy can definitely be a problem, though. It is getting a little bit better, but the pace of improvement is not great.
I don't have update issues as I only buy Nexus/Pixel. I've yet to encounter a single piece of malware in the years I've been using android, so this seems like an overblown issue. Mind you, I don't download that many apps, just use some of the more mainstream ones.
I believe Google protects my privacy just fine, but I do admire the extra security that iOS has built into the OS. Wish android did better here.