- Unpacking Spring Forward
Hopefully the excitement and narcism has died down from the Apple event from March 9th, where a little logic and context can be applied as well as playing guessing game. From ResearchKit to the TV price drop to the new MacBook and details of the Watch, there's significant information that could potentially be explain a lot moving forward, especially the cries from those who feel their precious Apple has either lost it's soul like one imbecilic writer has suggested, or that the company is going in the wrong direction, rather a direction they don't feel aligns with their own thoughts or ideals.
Many must truly reach the point of understanding that one does not have the obligation to purchase a product one skewers as not being for them, this falls along the lines of not obligated to use a free service that decides to change their terms and conditions. There's hilarity to the anger of so many over products they're not obligated to own.
I'd argue that the above was the biggest announcement from the event, there's no potential ROI to come from the development of the API, there's no financial benefit, there's simply creating a system for healthcare providers and organizations to look into with regard to retrieving more consistent data and branching out tests that could assist with major diseases.
What's amazing is the lack of understanding behind the necessity of such services, there's no doubt upon Google I/O in May when they announce a similar service they'll be applauded and it's unfortunate because developing services for healthcare organizations to use and build upon to eventually cure diseases shouldn't necessarily be a competition or a popularity contest, though the "media" organizations such as Wired and Fast Company will make it so.
As always it's vital to take precaution but it's necessary to understand what this means in health research and secure data collection. Should things remain the same and fall in line with the status quo? Many medical researchers would answer no, but factually won't necessarily come up with a better way on their own in terms of getting people currently diagnosed with specific diseases around the world to sign up and offer to be a part of the study.
Hopefully the company will continue to build on this API and offer resources to it overall for additional functions and assistance to more medical research facilities that could use the iPhone and or iPad as well as the Watch to provide useful data to help combat debilitating diseases.
I'll get to what I'll be getting soon but the release of the new Macbook poses some interesting questions. One thing I've noticed throughout the week are the complaints of the hardware, processing speed, and lack of ports. These cries mainly came from those that are well aware of the fact that not all devices are aimed at the populace of Apple users. The Mac Pro is not ideal for writers and regular internet browsing neither is the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air isn't aimed at those that wish to do significant photoshop designs or editing film in Final Cut Pro X, many love the size of the iPhone 6 Plus and many others don't.
There's a hilarity to the vacuity of many, but moving them aside and getting to the point of the new MacBook it seems that beyond obviously being aimed at writers and those traveling consistently and needing a laptop that can perform the functions needed while also providing an optimal OS X experience this device in many ways expresses the future the Apple envisions for its portable devices. It's not entirely difficult to do a search of the original MacBook Air what it presented the "lack" or ports available and the uproar of many behind it's price and specs, seems to be a regurgitation of anger and a loss or memory.
The complaints listed above are essentially baseless considering the opportunities this opens up for third party manufacturers one example is to consider backup battery devices from Mophie and others who will without a doubt release an external battery likely increasing the MacBook life beyond its 10 hour rate.
Again this isn't for power users if you're looking to do graphic design, photo or video editing one would hope you weren't doing it on a non-retina MacBook Air (there's a sensible reason for the Pro models), this is for those doing heavy writing whether it be an article, screenplay, novel, etc. Some have suggested this is for those looking to do web browsing and email but I'd sternly argue an iPad Air 2 would be optimal for performing activities that are that lightweight. What this promises for the future is interesting and I'll get to that in another post but it's intriguing what we could see from Apple in 2016 and beyond.
As for what I'm looking at purchasing:
Silver - 1.2GHz dual-core Intel M 512GB flash storage 8GB memory
The doubt surrounding this product is pretty intense, "analysts" of several firms don't believe this will reach the success of the iPhone (it's theoretically impossible for any other product to reach that level of success but many aren't fans of logic or contextual data). Will this be a success? It's hard to tell but there's a pretty logical and strong chance that the answer will be yes. Will this be a flop? Well that's the question posed by writers from Fortune and Forbes in a strong sense of hilarity neither could state what exactly constitutes a "flop", only to hypothesize what Apple themselves sees as success or failure (which could only be answered and known internally by those Apple executives none of which the writers have access to). Let's say we really don't know and it's best not to write off a new product from Apple that will be sold around the globe.
The most intriguing aspect of it all is that this is focused on being a fashionable product, no once has Apple addressed this device as a smart watch, it surpasses the tackiness of the Pebble and the new Pebble Time. It's more polished and refined than Android Wear watches on the market today (ask around). And it just so happens to offer sizes not necessarily a man's and woman's size but sizes that anyone can wear based on their personal preference of what suits them. That's the overall aspect of this watch, a fashionable item that connects to your iPhone providing you with ways to glance at brief information.
This isn't a product aimed at everyone, but there's a sense that this is simply the beginning of what the company truly wishes to do with the watch, it's their entry into the market making it known that their intention is making a product appealing and available to everyone with features and services that no one else could or wish to develop, and as many have mocked the 'Edition' model it's cost, it's clear that many have a western centric mind and forget that not only is Apple a global company but they're officially China's top luxury brand, considering China has a great deal of millionaires and many approaching those ranks it's no coincidence (nor is the Gold MacBook).
This is much more than a glorified fitness band, consider for a moment ResearchKit, consider the medical applications that could be utilized when additional sensors are implemented into the casing of future generations of the Watch, there's more to this device than what many realize. As for what I'm looking at for myself, it would be the exact model in the above image;
42mm Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band
I wanted this piece of news last because it's truly intriguing that netflix officially has a competitor in the streaming space. Not just that but that HBO is coming online and the reality that many don't seem to acknowledge or wish to admit, people are canceling their cable subscriptions in strong numbers. Though it's a timed exclusive, being the primary source to watch HBO shows and the premier of new seasons of some of the most talked about shows for 90 days isn't something to laugh at, also the ability to subscribe through Apple's service makes me thing of newsstand app on the iPhone and iPad, subscribing to digital magazines all handled through Apple and iTunes, could this be the method they take with services from Showtime etc?
Another interesting point is the cost reduction of the current generation TV ($69), many are theorizing and I agree that this sets a precedent for a future product that's been waiting in the wings and ready to go into production. What the new model would be comprised of is anyone's guess but it's not hard to consider a new TV with flash storage potentially for apps and a substantially upgraded 'A' series processor (A8X? maybe A9 or A9X?). With the recent release of SlingTV and future online services coming from Sony and others this may finally be the moment the company introduces their offering.
This is a product that's dependent upon negotiating with content providers and content creators, it's difficult and before anyone complains over how long it's taken many should at least gain some sense of understanding a lot of these things simply aren't difficult to do (how long did it take for Google to release their music offering?).
There's a lot to unpack from the event that took place in San Francisco, and there were a lot of interesting notes one could make, from the new MacBook and what that could mean to future models, new services, the future of the watch and television, and research kit. I'm very intrigued at what the company will provide for developers to use come WWDC 2015, there's more to take advantage of in the current iteration of the iOS and OS X SDK that many haven't fully tapped into just yet.
Considering what we've seen announced from the company over the last few days many are guessing what may come in future devices, WSJ is claiming that the force touch technology in the Watch and new MacBook will arrive in this years iPhones, but that's considerable common sense to suggest such a notion. I'd like to look a little further, a little deeper into the potential devices that may come from Cupertino, not necessarily the devices themselves but the technology implemented within new iterations.
With regard to the MacBook line there's a lot of curiosity surrounding the fate of the Air and Pro models, as well as the potential for a larger MacBook. Having spoken with a friend of mine it's possible the company may release a larger 14" model of the current iteration of the MacBook, maybe with an additional USB-C port, longer battery life, and improved front facing camera. The discussion then centered on the Air and Pro models, I'd wager that the two will combine in some way providing 13" and 15" Pro models approaching the design of the Air, but the question of entry level pricing comes to the surface with the current 11" Air coming in at $899 we may not see such movements in the MacBook line for 2-3 years.
The iPhone and iPad may feature inventions we've seen in the products above, force touch, haptic feedback, etc. The potential of a larger iPad remains as well as the potential of a smaller 4" iPhone with the internals of the iPhone 6. On the software front could we see APIs for the NFC chips since it's been a year for the company to make sure the chips and data remains secure (similar to that of Touch ID?). We'll no more as the year moves along with regard to the software side come WWDC, and hardware come this Fall.
The Watch raises my curiosity in terms of what we see now and what may come down the line, I don't find it hard to believe that we may see a future watch with the casing made out of the same material as the iPhone 5C with an assorted color selection and white sport band. Similar to the iPod in it's day this may be how we see the family of watches in terms of it's growth and variety but that's making the strongest hypothesis conceivable at the moment, there are many valid arguments against such a notion as well.
With regard to the iPod...well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What I've found most troubling is verbosity in anger aimed at Apple not just in the announcement and impending release of these products, but overall. As I've addressed in the beginning no one is obligated to purchase products from any company they choose yet the spewing of random nonsense has reached a level where it would be appropriate for someone to question their mental well being and lack of sanity. Considering no one is obligated to answer to anyone as to why they purchase the products they choose.