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Small Details and Observations From Apple's iPhone 7 Event

Here's a few things I took away from Apple's big day
September 8, 2016

Wednesday, Sept. 7 was clearly a big day for Apple, one of the few we get to witness each year. The iPhone 7 event lasted just over two hours and was packed full of announcements. Here are a few things I noticed both during and after the event.

  • The Nintendo announcement was both a surprise and big deal. But where is this game for Apple TV? To me, something like this could seriously drive Apple’s sales of this product. I hope Apple and Nintendo have a plan to bring this to tvOS.
  • This is clearly Tim Cook’s Apple, and it was evident from the opening scene where he was in the car with Pharell and James Corden singing “Sweet Home Alabama.” Steve Jobs would never have done such a thing.
  • Pharell isn’t wearing an Apple Watch in the car.
Tim Cook getting down

Tim Cook getting down

  • During the opening video for Apple Watch Series 2, the renders made the wearable device look a little rounder and more curvy. It turns out, the design is exactly the same.
  • The Apple Watch Series 2 is focused on Health, which is a very different narrative when compared to the first-generation Apple Watch. In fact, Apple’s tagline went from “Our most personal device ever” to “the ultimate device for a healthy life.”
  • I’m honestly surprised Apple did not introduce a few new bands to go with the new Apple Watch. I’m also shocked that they didn’t introduce a couple of exclusive Watch faces to go with Series 2. Also, there were rumors of a built-in camera and smart bands. Neither of those happened.
Apple Watch has two mic holes instead of one

Apple Watch has two mic holes instead of one

  • Apple added a second mic to the Apple Watch. This should help a lot with “Hey Siri.”
  • Apple Watch Series 1 does not come with a power adapter. Yes, you read that right.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 Aluminum now has ceramic back instead of composite.
  • The Apple Watch got thicker and heavier. If there’s any product in the Apple lineup that I would want to see get lighter and thinner, it’s the Apple Watch.
  • The starting price of the Apple Watch Aluminum jumped $20 bucks to $369.
  • The white Ceramic Apple Watch is hot. It’s the new Edition and replaces the Gold and Rose gold. It also starts at $1,249.
  • Apple introduced the iPhone 7 showing the Plus and the new Jet Black color. For maybe the first minute or so, I thought both the smaller and bigger iPhone’s would have that dual-camera.
  • The iPhone 7 is 4 grams lighter than the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 Plus is 3 grams lighter than the 6s Plus.
  • Neither iPhone 7 models have True Tone displays despite it being rumor.
  • Apple also shows the Plus iPhone on the front of their site. The Plus is obviously the phone they want people to buy.
  • Apple highlighted a couple of times how the new black and jet black colors hide the antenna lines. Clearly, it’s not something they like to look at.
  • Phil Schiller called the iPhone display the best on any smartphone. DisplayMate would argue against that, calling Samsung’s AMOLED displays far superior.
  • Apple says that the jet black iPhone 7 is prone to minor scratches, something they’ve never really said about any other iPhone. Is this because they want to protect themselves from a big class action lawsuit or something?
  • Jet black iPhone is only available in 128GB and 256GB variants.
  • Apple didn’t really sell me on the dual-camera on the iPhone 7 Plus. While 2X zoom is great, I thought we’d get much more.
  • “Portrait” mode in the iPhone 7 Plus isn’t shipping until later this year. Will reviewers get this software preview or will we be seeing reviews without that part included? If so, that’s a big miss on Apple’s part.
  • The cost of the iPhone 7 Plus jumped $20 bucks to a starting price of $769 for the 32GB.
iPhone bluetooth headset introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007

iPhone bluetooth headset introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007

  • The AirPods sort of look like the two Bluetooth headsets Apple introduced with the original iPhone.
  • The AirPods can pair with other Bluetooth devices, but they won’t get some of the special features that are designed to work only with Apple devices.
  • If you lose one AirPod, you don’t have to buy a new pair. Instead, you can buy just the one you lost.
  • AirPods auto-pair with all your iCloud-connected devices except Apple TV.
  • Apple made no adjustments to iCloud storage as far as I can tell, still starting at the lousy 5GB for free. This supports my belief of pushing people to pay Apple for more iCloud storage which starts at $0.99 a month for 50GB.
  • The Sia ending was super weird.

All-in-all Apple’s fall announcements were both predictable and exciting. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are serious upgrades and quite frankly the black colors look super nice. The Watch also got some great upgrades, but I didn’t get my most requested feature: an always-on display. Still, Apple managed to meet my expectations and I think all of the products they showed off yesterday will be hot sellers.