Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Sep 2017 19:30 UTC
Apple

Apple held its iPhone event today, but since the three major leaks got everything right - read our previous items on the leaks to get the full details - there's really not much to add here, other than the pricing for the new iPhones. The 'regular' iPhone 8 will be about €50 more expensive this year, so take that into account when planning your upgrade. The iPhone X (pronounced "ten" by Apple, "ex" by people with good taste), however, carries a very hefty pricetag, especially in Europe and the UK - the base 64GB model is $999 in the US, and a staggering €1159 in Europe (and an equally staggering £999 in the UK).

I think it's definitely a nice looking phone, and can certainly hold its own against other small-bezel phones from Samsung, LG, and others (especially others), but especially outside of the US, that's one hell of a price tag. Going over the magic €1000 mark feels like crossing a psychological threshold from high-end brand new smartphone territory into high-end brand new laptop territory, and that's a tough pill to swallow.

The additional problem here is that the iPhone 8 simply looks outdated compared to all the minimal bezel phones of this year, and certainly so next to the iPhone X in stores for the iOS users among us. I'm up for contract renewal, and since I'm the kind of person to switch platforms about once a year, I was definitely interested in switching to iOS again by buying the iPhone X. However, that €1159 price tag is way, way beyond the outer limit of my comfort zone.

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Boring
by darknexus on Tue 12th Sep 2017 19:41 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I think this is the most bored I've ever been when watching an Apple event. Okay, the new watch gets stand-alone cellular (finally, though who knows what the data plan gouges are going to be), Apple TV gets even more HD (we knew that already), and the iPhone 8 is a further iteration on a design that has been mostly static since the first one. The iPhone X... hmm, I'm not sure. If the best they can really do with facial tracking is smiling cats, not so much. Don't get me wrong, I like cats, but I would have expected something better than this. Face ID looks somewhat interesting but only time will really tell how well it does or does not work, and what accessibility implications it may or may not have for those with disfigurements, etc. It is interesting that Apple chose to support the industry-standard QI for inductive charging; I refuse to call it wireless charging because there is still the same amount of wires involved and moving the wire does not wireless make. If and when Apple releases their AirPower charging mat, with the ability to charge more than one device at a time, then I'll call it wireless in the same way that wi-fi is wireless.
And with my constant use of the word "wire", my last point. Tim, buddy, you really need a good thesaurus. The Tim Cook drinking word this year was "magical."

Reply Score: 7

RE: Boring
by Troels on Tue 12th Sep 2017 20:07 UTC in reply to "Boring"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Hah, had almost forgotten about the TV and Watch, so yeah, lots of arm waving for making the Apple TV not be outdated. Not sure why i would want to pick that over a Chromecast Ultra though, I really like the way there is no device to control with the Chromecast, it just magically does its thing. Okay, it can't play games like the new Apple TV, but is there anyone who cares about games that doesn't already have a more powerful platform for that?

I really want to like the watch, more shiny gadgets = better, right? right!?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Boring
by darknexus on Tue 12th Sep 2017 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Boring"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Different use cases I suppose. If I had a TV, I'd prefer the Apple TV over the Chromecast because it can do its own thing without needing my phone or tablet to help it, and yet can accept help from another device in those instances when it does. With the Chromecast, I'd always be controlling it with another device, eating through another battery. Too, the Apple TV can accept Airplay lossless audio from any device which supports that, whereas the chromecast can only mirror from Chrome or stream apps Google has chosen to support. Just goes to show, competition is good.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Boring
by Alfman on Wed 13th Sep 2017 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Boring"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

Different use cases I suppose. If I had a TV, I'd prefer the Apple TV over the Chromecast because it can do its own thing without needing my phone or tablet to help it, and yet can accept help from another device in those instances when it does. With the Chromecast, I'd always be controlling it with another device, eating through another battery. Too, the Apple TV can accept Airplay lossless audio from any device which supports that, whereas the chromecast can only mirror from Chrome or stream apps Google has chosen to support. Just goes to show, competition is good.



Does apple TV force you to connect through goog^H^H^H^H apple's servers? That's a pretty big gripe I have with google's offerings. They could have done something like widi, but instead they designed chromecast to be dependent upon their servers so they could collect more user data. Not only do I consider this unethical, but it resulted in some pretty stupid engineering compromises like inability to connect locally when the internet is out.

It's also a major criticism I have for smart phones in general. I've amassed a large collection of personal media over the years but google and apple seem adamant to keep the experience crappy for local media and storage. Just let me access my files directly like a normal os! I don't want to stream everything from the internet, least of all my personal files! Having to search for this functionality at the app level is jarring, every app handles it differently, if at all.

Edit: not sure about apple tv, will it play files off the local network?

Edited 2017-09-13 07:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Boring
by darknexus on Wed 13th Sep 2017 11:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Boring"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Does apple TV force you to connect through goog^H^H^H^H apple's servers? That's a pretty big gripe I have with google's offerings.

Only if you want to use Apple services. Airplay audio and video go over the local LAN with no server intervention.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Boring
by DeadFishMan on Wed 13th Sep 2017 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Boring"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

darknexus,

"Different use cases I suppose. If I had a TV, I'd prefer the Apple TV over the Chromecast because it can do its own thing without needing my phone or tablet to help it, and yet can accept help from another device in those instances when it does. With the Chromecast, I'd always be controlling it with another device, eating through another battery. Too, the Apple TV can accept Airplay lossless audio from any device which supports that, whereas the chromecast can only mirror from Chrome or stream apps Google has chosen to support. Just goes to show, competition is good.



Does apple TV force you to connect through goog^H^H^H^H apple's servers? That's a pretty big gripe I have with google's offerings. They could have done something like widi, but instead they designed chromecast to be dependent upon their servers so they could collect more user data. Not only do I consider this unethical, but it resulted in some pretty stupid engineering compromises like inability to connect locally when the internet is out.

It's also a major criticism I have for smart phones in general. I've amassed a large collection of personal media over the years but google and apple seem adamant to keep the experience crappy for local media and storage. Just let me access my files directly like a normal os! I don't want to stream everything from the internet, least of all my personal files! Having to search for this functionality at the app level is jarring, every app handles it differently, if at all.

Edit: not sure about apple tv, will it play files off the local network?
"

Actually, not only it is possible to play local content on the Chromecast but it is very easy! Go to the Chrome Web Store right now and download the Videostream for Google Chromecast extension - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/videostream-for-google-ch/...

It allows you to stream local files, with support for subtitles and not only it streams all the natively supported file formats and codecs but it also does a little transcoding behind the scenes to play formats not natively supported by the Chromecast such as XviD encoded AVIs.

I use it all the time to watch my nice collection of torrented movies hosted in my file server and it works perfectly!

(And if you decide to use it, please consider dropping a coin on those folks' hats as they really outdid themselves with this extension!)

You may also want to give a quick look at a nifty little Node.JS-based project called castnow. castnow is a command-line tool that can be used to do pretty much the same thing and that has nice integration with ffmpeg (for on-the-fly transcoding) and peerflix (another nifty Node.JS little wonder that allows one to download and play a torrent in real time the same way that PopcornTime does!)

And then there's PopcornTime... 'Nuff said, right?

I couldn't be happier with my Chromecast than when I found out about these little tools!

And the one thing that Chromecast has all these other "media centers" beat is not the availability of official content channels; it's the other way around! It's the bootleg stuff that makes it shine!!! You know what I am talking about: that stuff that varies from somewhat inconvenient to down right impossible to find in the "official channels" that can be found easily on those less reputable websites, so to speak... ;) That's where it shines!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Boring
by ilovebeer on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:07 UTC in reply to "Boring"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I'm not sure your Qi vs. wifi comparison is all that good. Both provide a service that does not require physically connecting a device (via wire), and both only work when you're within range. If you don't have to plug a wire into your phone to charge it, it is being charged wirelessly. There's really no controversy here. Perhaps you meant to say you want over-the-air charging. But then don't we all.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Boring
by zima on Wed 13th Sep 2017 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Boring"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Additionally, Qi is "wired" in the same way Wifi is - you still need to have wires going to the access point... ;) (typically more of them for Wifi - Ethernet and power, whereas Qi carging matt only has power)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Boring
by darknexus on Wed 13th Sep 2017 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Boring"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Actually, my comparison is perfectly apt. Wi-fi internet: one bass station to multiple devices. It actually cuts down on the wires and you can move around. QI: one charging pad, one device at a time. There is still the same amount of wires at your desk. Moving it does not magically make it wireless. For the record, I doubt that completely wireless charging is even possible. There's always going to be a wire. I just absolutely hate bullshit marketing, and saying that inductive charging is wireless is precisely that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Boring
by ilovebeer on Wed 13th Sep 2017 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Boring"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I see no point in redefining "wireless", which literally means "operating by means of transmitted electromagnetic waves". That's exactly how Qi (aka inductive charging) works. It's the opposite of marketing bullshit. Charging occurs with no connecting wires between the charger and the device, just like wifi works with no connecting wires between the router and the device. How many devices can be used simultaneously is irrelevant to whether the process is wireless or not. So, we'll just have to agree to disagree I guess.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Troels
by Troels on Tue 12th Sep 2017 19:47 UTC
Troels
Member since:
2005-07-11

Advanced facial tracking used for ID, and the only other thing they can figure out to do with it is animated emojis... Wow

The marketing babble sure reached new heights too, i like how they sold OLED like they now fixed its problems so they could start using it.

Calling their chip "bionic", blabbering on about machine learning.

But i agree with the conclusion of this article, outdated looking 8, too expensive X. I have no doubt they are fine phones and they will sell a crapton of them and earn lots of money, but wow they are boring these days.

At least they are giving AR a real shot. I am still not convinced AR really is a thing, but it would be cool if someone can kind find useful things to do with it. (Pokemon Go was cute while it lasted, but can't remember the last time i saw a pokemon hunter around here)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Troels
by flanque on Tue 12th Sep 2017 22:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by Troels"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

It's become pretty difficult to 'wow' people with a phone these days.

The market is quite saturated with options and features, so the differentiation between them is narrowing with each iteration.

I don't think slapping another sensor or faster CPU in there really cuts it. It'd take something like holographic projections or something like that I think.

What feature would you have liked to see introduced?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Troels
by Delgarde on Wed 13th Sep 2017 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Troels"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Adding an extra digit to the price certainly makes people go "Wow!"... though not in a good way.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Troels
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 13th Sep 2017 14:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Troels"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Go still exists near me. I see hordes marching outside my office all staring at their screens, no verbal communication amongst the group. Its apocalyptic to watch.

Reply Score: 3

Qi
by sapere aude on Tue 12th Sep 2017 22:40 UTC
sapere aude
Member since:
2006-03-07

For me, the announcement of the wireless charger using the Qi standard was the best of the day. I believe that the standard will now become more and more popular.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Qi
by David on Tue 12th Sep 2017 22:46 UTC in reply to "Qi"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

That's certainly something that Apple has been good at doing in the past: taking an existing standard and thrusting it into widespread adoption. Unfortunately, they also have a habit of sometimes needlessly promoting their own fringe thing where it makes little sense. So it's nice to see they did the former this time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Qi
by tylerdurden on Wed 13th Sep 2017 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Qi"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

They had no choice this time. Qi is deeply entrenched standard, and there's a whole ecosystem out there and already established supply chain.

It's hilarious that Apple can't release a charging pad until next year.

My bet is that apple wants connector free phones and ipad in the next couple of years.

Reply Score: 4

Price
by henderson101 on Wed 13th Sep 2017 07:34 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

The mainland European price is a kicker. The UK price includes VAT and import tax, so I can get (given how much Brexit destroyed Sterling) why the price is so high.

As the Euro seems to hover around 1:1 of the UK price, if you are European and can lay your hands on Sterling with little or no conversion charges, and wait for the Pound to hit the "almost 1:1" again, it seems like it is actually cheaper to buy the phones in the UK.

It used to just be that Russian gangsters did this for the non-Apple release markets, but I think this might be a thing again this year. (I saw this with my own eyes in London on iPad 2 launch day - loads of drunk Eastern European builders queuing up at the Regents Street store and buying the most expensive model, with a young guy in an expensive looking suit handing them a bundle of cash as they waited.)

Edited 2017-09-13 07:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Title Bar
by Dreams on Wed 13th Sep 2017 07:59 UTC
Dreams
Member since:
2007-12-12

I haven't seen any screenshots of apps running, only full screen overview pages.

I wonder how that pretty speaker bar on the top will interfere with the screen space that is available there. Will they redesign the GUI to fit around it? It looks super awkward taking screen space away from apps in that shape.

Edited 2017-09-13 07:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Compare the newest, faster cellular phones speed compared to your desktop and laptop computers in the last 5 years. Guess what, companies spend a LOT of money making faster and faster chips for the phones and other devices.
[...]
Take cars for instance. If cars gained more speed and abilities like cell phones and other electric gadgets get, we would be driving at over 1,000 mph/1609.344 kph . If not double or triple or maybe 10 times that, and the price wouldn't have gone up anywhere near as much as car prices have gone up.

Meanwhile, in the real world outside of your Apple bubble, the prices of desktops, laptops and cars fell drastically over the decades... (and speed/abilities aren't most important in cars ...we got better comfort, safety and reliability)

Reply Score: 3

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I forced myself to read your entire post. It contained nothing that could be taken seriously.

Reply Score: 3

Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

Monopoly because if you just want to run iOS you don't have much of an alternative.
Apple is fully aware of the (high) prices they are asking. That's why they have the trade in program and the option to bill you monthly.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You can't have a monopoly in a market where only one player existed. There was only ever one player in the iPhone market.

Reply Score: 2

Apple TV
by Sabon on Wed 13th Sep 2017 15:27 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple TV with play anything that you have in iTunes, no matter how you got it. In Windows or Mac you can import music and movies into iTunes. Your Apple TV then syncs with iTunes and can then play those songs/movies/pictures onto your TV screen. Or you can play them on your iPhone or iPad or Windows or Mac onto your TV screen through Apple TV.

If you have a cable TV account. You can download apps for the channels that you have and go to a website and put in a code and then watch shows from those channels in Apple TV.

Read up on it. It does quite a bit. However, I have TiVo and don't think I'm gong to upgrade until my wife demands that I do when she has 4K movies in iTunes that she wants to watch through Apple TV. Note, TiVo also will play 4K content from pretty much every service that Apple TV does and more, except no Apple TV.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Apple TV
by zima on Wed 13th Sep 2017 17:28 UTC in reply to "Apple TV"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

In Windows or Mac you can import music and movies into iTunes.

No I can't, iTunes doesn't support the format I use most (Ogg Vorbis).

Reply Score: 4

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:09 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

$1000+ for a cellphone? Never.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Wed 13th Sep 2017 20:15 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

i have a theory. apple will use the new tech to collect biometric data and sell it to relevant 3rd parties, like those three letter agencies.

who is to say it won't collect said data from people you'll include on your photos?

and it will all be with a nice pricetag.

Reply Score: 1