Confessions of an iOS Fanboy

Early last month, Apple had its annual September product announcement. I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines:

  • IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available
  • IPhone Watch is under construction for an early 2015 release
  • iOS8 is standard on new devices and available as an upgrade for older models

These devices are larger and faster, with pricing pretty much staying the same. Yawn.

But wait—there’s more. A few features that were not prominently highlighted in the headlines are significant in my mind. These include:

  • New HD retina displays that provides more contrast via a polarizer layer, creating a better user experience.
  • Enhanced “under the hood” hardware.
    • Near Field Communication antennae enables Apple Pay while opening the door to integrate payments into applications on the iOS platform.
    • 3x faster WiFi (802.11ac), vitally important for video streaming and data sharing.
    • A barometer, which measures atmospheric pressure and will provide elevation tracking and other uses over time.
  • Updated camera—put that DSLR away. This will add to what I think is already a great tool.
    • Image quality in low light, dynamic focusing and  image stabilization.
    • Video capture at 1080p and 120 fps.
    • Front facing camera improvements for better and burst selfies (oh my!).
    • User interface changes to support larger form factor “reachability.” This may put some of the concerns about one-handed use to rest.
  • iOS 8 upgrades that provide better integration with the hardware and many additional enablers for developers.
Photo (and sketch) by Mark Baker

Photo (and sketch) by Mark Baker

The biggest knock from the public on the new models is their increased size. In response, I would ask, “Are you really going to hold this up to your ear? If so, how often?” Today, thinking of an iPhone as primarily a phone is misguided. I’m sure I’m not alone in observing that as my usage of my iPhone has gone WAY UP, the voice minutes used have surely gone down—WAY DOWN.

Seven years ago when the original iPhone launched it was a phone first that added a mobile browser, music player and camera and a couple of other features. THAT WAS IT. The concept of an App Store didn’t even exist. Now, you practically have a complete computer desktop platform at your fingertips. The so-called iPhone has evolved to be an indispensible, highly portable, all-purpose digital communication device. That’s worth an upgrade.

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