The Apple announcement is finally over. There were a few good points to be made, but knowing everything beforehand took some of the excitement out of the whole affair. Although for the first time I managed to stay up and sit through an Apple event. There were some interesting points, and it was almost worth losing sleep over.
Continues after the break
iWork – Hours before the event I posted a feature about some apps that should be included with every new Android phone. A word processor was very high on the list. Apple has done just that by making their productivity suite free. Sure the announcement barely took a minute, but will be welcome news for the increasing number of people who are using their tablets for work. Throwing in both video and photo editing tools only makes the deal sweeter. This may be the most convincing reason to buy into the ecosystem.
Touch ID – Using biometrics to unlock your phone and confirm buying apps is one of the things that has been promised by the future. It’s no surprise that Apple is the first to actually roll out the technology for consumers. They like doing that sort of thing (or at least constant claim to). Some of my colleagues are unconvinced about the applications of this feature, but if anything at least it’s genuinely a new talking point. If Apple is able to maintain their usual level of quality, then we don’t have to worry too much about it being another point of failure.
Thankfully, there are no plans to allow third party apps to access Touch ID just yet. If only because that would open an entire can of worms about security and privacy issues.
Infinity Blade III – To be honest, the main reason this is a hit is because it shows off the iPhone 5S’ 64-bit architecture. The average user wouldn’t blink at a change like that, but having a shiny new game to go along with it helps. Capable of lens flares “that would make J.J. Abrams proud”, Epic Games’ final instalment in the Infinity Blade series does a good job of showing off the iPhone 5S’ hardware capabilities.
iPhone 5C – Instead of offering a low end phone like everyone expected, we ended up with round 2 of the iPhone 5. In plastic. And Technicolor. It all comes at the expense of the current iPhone 5, which will be discontinued so Apple can sell more of the 5C. Anyone who wants a lower cost iPhone can opt for the 4S; which will be offered free with a two year contract in the US. I don’t know about the rest of you, but Apple’s previous system of lowering the cost of the current generation for people on a budget worked just fine.
Pricing – People are used to Apple products being expensive. It’s expected, and part of being an iFan. That being said, those prices look a lot higher than they should be. Not by much, but it will make all but the most ardent supporter think twice about picking up either phone. At first glance, the 16GB iPhone 5C variant is only about USD99 (RM325) on a two year contract. But then, an unlocked version is a cool USD549 (RM1800). In the current global economy, that is nowhere near to reasonable for a midrange phone.
Oddly enough, the price on the iPhone 5S is a little easier to swallow. It’s not often you get omni-directional fingerprint scanners on something this small. Sure you could argue that it wasn’t necessary, but such is the price of doing something new.