Monday, September 22, 2014

Apple finally did one thing right...and another thing absolutely wrong...and are using Google's tricks as usual

Yes, yes, I'm referring to Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Yes, I am absolutely going to criticize Apple in this post. Apple diehard fanboys and fangirls, leave this blog now because I am 100% sure that I will offend you.

Since that's over, let the roasting begin!

I waited on this blog post because I wanted to step back, get my thoughts together, and lay it all out. So let's start with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus

(photo cred: Apple Insider)

Apple obviously took a cue from Samsung by offering a larger screen, making this Apple's first phablet device. However, other cues from Google's Nexus 4 are visible here.

Let me remind you: Google's pure Android flagship from 2 years ago already did the following:

  • had a standard 4.7" diagonal measurement screen
  • had a HD screen, with a resolution just higher than what the iPhone 6 has
  • Near-Fields Communication inside, used for wireless payment and easy sharing of content between phones and tablets
  • Notification actions, allowing you to decide what to do when an app notifies you of an action or update
  • Widgets, which have been a staple of Android since its earliest versions (throwback to 2008, maybe?)
  • The ability to download third-party keyboards to use and customize
  • Typing suggestions (which are better than Apple's most of the time)
  • Cross-app communications, allowing apps to work together to be easier to use
  • Cloud photo back-up (thanks, Google+!)
  • Breakdown of battery life, from screen usage to mobile network time
photo cred: Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica {@RonAmadeo on Twitter})

In other words, Apple is not innovating. Apple has realized that while they're certainly making pretty devices, they aren't nearly as full-featured as Android has been for quite some time. There is nothing my Galaxy S4 or any Android smartphone can't do as far as Apple's new features go.

Apple also made another HUGE mistake. While Apple finally stepped up to appeal to big hands or business users with the 6 Plus, there is no lower-end model as there was with the 5C. I'm sorry, but I actually praised Apple when the 5C was announced. Not everyone can pay $200 on contract for the newest iPhone, and knowing that there was a more affordable $100 option for people who wanted an iPhone actually made me happy for Apple. While anyone can now certainly get the iPhone 5S for $100 now, the problem is that some of the key features of the 6 and 6 Plus are unavailable to the 5S. Apple has seriously polarized the budget-minded Apple fan and the Apple diehard who can spend $200 on the latest iDevice.

If any Apple diehards are still reading, be prepared to read a little more criticism on the Apple Watch. Begin

(photo cred: International Business Times)

For one thing, the Apple Watch has many of the same features as the Samsung Gear 2 Neo and a handful of other smartwatches currently on the market. To compare the Gear 2 Neo and the Apple Watch, they have virtually the same functionality...and the Gear 2 Neo costs $150 less. Even the (current) upper-echelon Gear 2, with its 2 megapixel camera, is ringing up slightly less than what the Apple Watch will demand. 

You're basically going to pay $350 for features that, while they were buggy with Samsung's Galaxy Gear, have been improved upon in the second generation and have been here since last year. And then Apple wants to stick a button on it, give it a fancy name in the Digital Crown, and then offer other versions that may not be made with premium materials? I lost it at the 14 ct. gold-dipped version. 

I'm glad Apple finally has an answer in the smartwatch and phablet categories, which will bring them more into the spotlight with the common tech consumer. I just wish Apple didn't have to cut out one audience that gulped up the 5C and offer a smartwatch that could have been even more competitively priced than Samsung's Gear line.

Ironically enough, I type this from my MacBook Pro, Sheila. I do love my MacBook Pro because it is  fully featured and can do a lot that most Windows machines can't do. I just understand that Apple is lacking in mobile innovation and is turning to Samsung, Sony, and other major Android competitors for ideas for its new devices.

The iPhone has its benefits: it's simple to use and understand, beautifully crafted, and is made by one of the premier names in consumer tech. It runs amazingly fast and is capable of so much. But it isn't innovation when the rivals have been doing it for at least two years.


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