September 2019 Apple Event

September 13, 2019

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Everyone else is writing up their thoughts, I thought I would too, if not just to come back in a couple months, years and see if I caved and bought any shiny new devices.

Roughly in order as they happened…

Apple Arcade

Cool idea, but I’m not a gamer so I’ll probably skip it. Honestly, $5/mo isn’t bad for a bunch of new games, especially for a guy that grew up paying $40-50 per game.

Apple TV+

One of the few things Apple has undertaken that I just don’t get. Everyone and their brother is doing streaming services, I wonder how Apple can stand out. Or is this a loss leader/add-on benefit like Prime Video? I don’t know. $5 isn’t bad, but again, do they have anything worth watching?

As a long-time cord cutter, DirecTV ditcher, I am always vigilant of TV spending. I don’t watch a lot of TV except NHL, (LGB) EPL soccer, and the occasional series (Mindhunter is my latest binge), so I’ll probably pass on Apple TV+ also.

iPad

I’ve never owned an iPad and don’t see that changing, though they are cool. I just don’t need one. Between my iPhone and MacBook Air I have enough screens and don’t see how an iPad would fit into my life. I guess it would be nice to take on trips, to watch stuff in the car but that’s so infrequent it doesn’t seem worth $400 or whatever they cost

Apple Watch

I just bought the Series 4 watch in May, so the new features would have to really kick ass to be worth it (and make it worth explaining to my wife). The only upgrade I see beyond minor spec bumps and fancy new materials, that cost a ton, is the Always On” feature. Pass. Ok, there’s also a built in Compass. Don’t need it. Won’t be buying it.

I bought my watch for the health tracking and for the most part it’s helped motivate me to get out and move, stand up, and close those damn rings. August was the first month I went 3-for-3 all 30/31 days, which is pretty cool to see in the app. The Series 5 doesn’t improve that in any way, so I’ll stick with my 4.

iPhone

I wondered if this was the year they would drop the number, after the last two years with the X moniker, but alas, here we are with the iPhone 11.

Apple continues to impress with the improvements they make year over year to these devices. Increased battery life, better cameras, more cameras!, machine learning. Very cool.

Some more random thoughts:

Bottom line: my iPhone 6s is still chugging along just fine, except for the battery, which I usually have to charge by afternoon/early evening. It is tempting to upgrade to a new model, or even go for a now year old XR. Typically when buying something this expensive I ask myself two questions:

  1. Can I afford it? In this case yes, I could swing another $20-25/month or just pay cash with no issue.
  2. Is my current device working? Yes, except for the battery issue mentioned above the 6s still runs fine and is supported by Apple updates. I believe this is the last year however.

For now I plan on holding on to my current iPhone. But that could change if the battery continues to degrade. Maybe a birthday present in February 2020?

Final Thoughts

Apple ended the sales pitch show with info on how to trade-in your current phone and pay in monthly installments. How convenient! What’s the old saying? You don’t buy the car, you but the car payment?

It did lead me to wonder, as I’ve read elsewhere, whether Apple just goes full on subscription based in the future. Like, for $39/mo you get the latest iPhone, plus Apple Arcade or TV+, plus upgraded iCloud storage. Will be interesting to watch.

Other articles covering the event I enjoyed reading:

  • 500ish - But Will They Go To 12
  • Daring Fireball
  • MacSparky