iPad OS is officially a thing. The iPad has outgrown iOS as we know it and we should all be jumping for joy. However, let’s note that iPad OS, tvOS and watchOS are still all iOS just “made for” different devices.
But this gives us an entire new outlook on how we will view the iPad moving forward. Remember the “What is a computer?” ads by Apple?
This is a big step for Apple, as we’ve had ads, hints, stabbings and more at the “mainstream PC” for years — almost since the inception of iPad; however, with the iPad finally getting it’s own operating system, this gives Apple room to finally innovate and differentiate on an entirely different level to truly bring productive and powerful features to the world’s most popular, used and powerful tablet.
iPhones XS, XS Max and XR are available and I’ve gotten a chance to spend time with each.
In previous episodes of my In the Weeds podcast, I’ve been vocal about my dismay towards the notched display; however, I’ve always heaped praise upon the secure and stable iOS. My in person feelings are exactly the same; yet, I’ve got a few different opinions regarding Apple’s implementation of the display notch housing the True Depth camera array for FaceID.
Quick & Dirty
These new iPhones feel fantastic in the hand, whether you are holding the XS or the special XR, in fact, I would argue that the XR feels a bit heavier and more substantial in the hand — which isn’t a bad thing.
Starting off at $749, the iPhone XR is likely the most compelling device for most users looking to upgrade. Featuring a large 6.1″ display, featuring Apple’s distinct notch housing FaceID components, although this display is LCD and less than 1080p, it still looks great from most angles. Additionally, since this display technology isn’t quite as robust as the OLED panels on iPhones XS and XS Max, the bezel surrounding the display is slightly larger — yet still bearable and unobtrusive. Performance is notably great; however, the model I experienced in store appeared just a slight step behind its XS and XS Max counterparts.
iPhones XS and XS Max offer that same design except sleeker, and wrapped in a stainless steel band. iPhone XS Max especially felt great, not only due to the increased screen size, but the fact that it truly displayed more information on webpages and in apps versus those assets simply appearing larger, which is a huge selling point. Performance is what you’d expect — simply unmatched in consistency and speed.
Furthermore, let’s talk about these notches. On the smaller devices, I found the notch a touch more intrusive; however, with the larger iPhone XS Max, it almost (almost) seemed to disappear. The larger screen, giving you more information is almost certainly a win in every case.
Overall, the device experience is great on all of the new Apple smartphones. iPhones XS and XR are here for the taking with arguably the best hardware and software experience on the market.
Apple killed the industry with a notch in the display of it’s beloved iPhone X, due to its True Depth Camera array for Face ID. Afterwards, it’s seemed as if every Android manufacturer, including Google wants to copy it — why?
Most people note that they “don’t even notice” the notch. However, I argue that OEMs are lying to consumers by offering a device with an “edge to edge” 6 inch screen while due to the nature of the notch and additional curves in the display make only about 5.5 inches of that display actually usable. We are in an ugly middle ground before we get real full display phones and right now, only Samsung is maximizing space properly — no one else.
This is beautiful. Not only is it useful to continue your conversations because we usually have more than one command to issue, now — as promised at Google I/O 2018, but it brings to life the realization of a more “present” assistant.
How it works?
What happens when you say the “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” wake phrase, the user will see the lights on their Google Home device light up, indicating that Google Assistant is listening. From there, a question is asked followed up by a succinct and hopefully, correct response. With Continued Conversations, this changes to an abrupt ending to Assistant continuing to listen for 8 seconds for additional commands, which it will respond to if issues or delete the audio if no commands are issued. When the user is done issuing commands, simply say “Thank you” and Assistant will reply, “No problem” letting you know that the conversation is over.
With Google arguably having the smartest assistant, the brings this digital assistant to the next level.
It’s never a good thing to suspect that a company, especially one as large, controlling and expansive as Apple, could be doing something nefarious. This certainly is not the case, Apple is not doing anything to make consumers purchase new devices or give up on their old ones. However, what they did do, in traditional Apple fashion, is lack tact in delivering information to consumers, who just so happen to be the ones making them billions.
What is happening?
Over time lithium-ion batteries degrade. It has become common knowledge that your smartphone battery (any rechargeable battery for that fact) will hold less and less change as it only has a lifetime of so many charge cycles. With that being said, given the fact that your smartphone battery has limited life, develops wear and tear and will hold less and less charge over time it might make sense to slow an older phone down, right? Smartphone apps are not getting any less demanding nor are the mobile operating systems that contain them.
Due to the systems and applications that are on our mobile computers needing such power, they simply strain the battery too much for them to remain properly functional, meaning that Apple will throttle the performance of your CPU when it detects that the battery has a certain level of wear. When CPU spikes occur, sometimes we feel our phones getting hot (it simply means that it’s working hard under load); however, when you’re dealing with sensitive internals of a device — if your battery already a tremendous amount of wear, spike after spike of the CPU could have your device shutting off because it simply cannot handle the operations (we’ve seen this on iPhone 6), have it’s battery life plummet or worse, mechanical failure of the internal components. Users noted that after they got a battery replacement on their device it seemed to function normally presumably because no throttling was needed at that point because the battery in the device was of good integrity.
Remember the Galaxy Note 7? You don’t want mechanical failures like that in your precious iPhone.
Since the fallout, Apple has publicly acknowledged that this was happening and reportedly has been occurring since the iOS 10.2.1 update when it was noted that the iPhone 6 battery issues had been resolved. This comes as somewhat of a surprise to Apple loyalists when some enthusiasts have been suspecting Apple of “planned obsolescence” or intentional slowdown of older devices in order to get the user to purchase a new one. Additionally, Apple has noted that a future software update will give users insight into the health of their battery, this will come in early 2018.
My unbiased opinion
The issue that I have is that Apple did not tell customers that this CPU throttling was happening and honestly, they have a right to know, especially with newer phones costing $1000 and more. Don’t just sit back and apologize for Apple (or any technological company) over and over again when they make a mistake — this is wrong and cowardly when you hold such a compelling grip on your customers and can lead to consumer backlash. Perhaps that’s exactly what the company needs to stop being so secretive and oftentimes ignoring what their customers want and think.
Tech for the masses, meant to empower, educate and inform by Dexter Johnson.