Kevin Herrera

I start my day like I normally do with a cup of coffee, some creamer, and a sausage biscuit. This day is a little different from the usual humdrum because I’m excited about what I’ll learn from Apple’s keynote. Rumors have been floating around like crazy, per usual, about what the new iPhone will be called and what features will be added (or removed). Unfortunately, I have to make a living so I had to go to work and do my job.

Once work was over, I head back home, plop down on the couch with my girlfriend, and watch the keynote on my 4th generation Apple TV. As we watch the keynote we’re not wowed by many of the things we see because we already spoiled ourselves earlier by reading live blogs and Reddit posts about what had been announced.

What I took away from the keynote was pretty straightforward:

  • The new iPhone is called iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
  • The storage capacity has been doubled across the board.
  • The new A10 chip has 2 big cores and 2 little cores, à la big.LITTLE.
  • The camera in the back is now a dual camera with different lenses.
  • The home button is now solid state using haptic feedback.
  • Finally, a true black color option is available in matte or high gloss.
  • The 3.5mm jack was removed.

Prior to watching the keynote, I had already told myself that I would only buy the “S” versions of each phone that Apple releases. It gives me two years to enjoy the phone I already have and it gives Apple time to workout the kinks with the new features they introduced with the earlier model. This keynote solidified my position in that there wasn’t a significant enough change for me to justify buying a new phone only a year later. It also helped that I read rumors about their being a 10th anniversary iPhone.

The iPhone 7 feels like an iPhone 6SS.

While the A10 chip, rear dual camera, and home button are significant changes, the rest feels incremental. Of course there is no way to tell for sure, but I think it could be an indicator that something big is in store for the anniversary edition of the iPhone (if there even is one). Regardless, I am definitely looking forward to the significant improvement in battery life and performance when I finally do upgrade.

In the meantime, I will be eyeballing the Apple Watch Series 2 to see what battery life is like. I have been holding on buying one until the Watch could get at least two days of battery life. My intention is to use it to track my sleeping patterns and use a dynamic alarm to wake me up at the best opportunity. The app I use now, called Sleep Cycle, does not have an Apple Watch app. According to them, the previous version of the Apple Watch did not support the type of access to the accelerometer needed by the app in order to protect battery life. Maybe with the new hardware that will change.

As for the removal of the 3.5mm jack, I haven’t decided what kind of decision that was. I think that the claims of intentional vendor lock-in are half true. Personally, I believe that the other half is that Apple believes that their Lightning port is superior to USB-C, at least in terms of hardware design. Optimistically, this could lead to innovations with powered headphones or improvements in battery life with Bluetooth devices. I guess we’ll find out in the years to come.