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A few thoughts on the Apple keynote
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Volker Weber    

This has been a very enjoyable event. Tim started with a beautiful nod to Steve Jobs. He also addressed the American soul with mentioning an effort to help the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. He was followed by a rather uninspiring segement on Apple retail by Angela Ahrens before kicking it off for real. Here are my thoughts, not in chronological order:

  • Smartphones are about computational photography. You have to have great optics and sensors, but that's only the start. Look at the Google Pixel vs the BlackBerry KEYone. Same sensor but the photos a miles apart. With the new iPhones Apple is adding more computing power and with that a unique selling point for these devices: they take better photos, because they can improve so much on what the camera itself delivers. Portrait Mode on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X add Portrait Lighting, which simulates studio lighting every time you take a photo. Since the iPhone X has all these sensors in the front, it can do the same trick for selfies. iPhone 8 has single cameras in the front and the back which means it cannot provide these tricks.
  • Apple introduces three new iPhones, as expected and reported. Of course you want iPhone X. But Apple can't make enough of them, so they make them expensive, really expensive. You can buy an 8 or 8 Plus instead, and they will be (relatively) cheaper. There isn't much you can do on the X, that you can't do on the 8 or 8 Plus, but you will want the X. Because you are not being rational. At least I am not. I don't need a newer iPhone than the iPhone 7 Plus. But my god, is this thing beautiful. You can't possibly put it in a case. No way. Huge dilemma for early adopters? Get a new 8 (Plus) in September, or wait for November (and later) to get the X? I expect the X to be in short supply for a long time, although it is ridiculously expensive. There will be lots of people who buy it because they can afford it.
  • Apple Watch is just a beautiful example of how Apple improves year over year without damaging devices that customers already bought. Watch Series 3 looks like Watch Series 2, which looks like Watch Series 1, which looks like the original Apple Watch. Whatever bands you bought, you can continue wearing them. Apple continues selling the Series 1 and replaces Series 2 with Series 3. Faster CPU, new wireless chip, and an LTE enable version. This model has an embedded eSIM which you can activate with your carrier. Apple mentioned Telekom for Germany as a launch partner. The LTE watch has a red dot on the digital crown, so that your friends know you have the new model.
  • watchOS 4 improves on the main Apple Watch theme: health and fitness. The heart rate sensor can warn you if your heart rate increases while you are at rest. Apple will also start a new research project to watch out for heart rhythm disorders, which should give Apple Watch even more capabilities to diagnose conditions that can lead to heart failures. The new O/S also has a much improved Workout app that can monitor other types of workouts.
  • Wireless charging, finally. Years after everybody else. This was a design issue, not a technical one. You can't do wireless charging with an Aluminium back. Doesn't work. The good news is that Apple went full Qi standard. Have any of those old Nokia/Fatboy chargers? They should work. As well as those in IKEA gear or in your car. Apple wants to improve on the standard next year with a device they call AirPower. It will charge your iPhone 8, your Apple Watch and your Airpods (with a new case), side by side. That is bound to remove a lot of wires. If only Apple Watches would charge on standard Qi chargers.
  • Apple TV goes 4K with new more powerful hardware. Apple TV 4 continues to be sold. And the TV app will come to Germany. I am very curious which content it will integrate. I am hoping for ARD/ZDF/Arte/3Sat and not only the pay-TV channels.
I am upgrading my devices to iOS 11, watch OS 3 and tvOS 11 gold masters before they become available. A week from now all Apple customers with iPhone 5S and newer, with all Watch models and Apple TV will get software upgrades, on the same day for everyone. This week is meant for app developers to check their software for last minutes bugs, but I am taking the risk now. We test stuff so you don't have to.

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https://vowe.net/archives/016566.html
Sep 12, 2017
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Wed, Nov 22nd 2017 9:24p   Volker Weber
Two years ago I was a Mac user. I had been a Windows user from version 1 but I had converted to Macs when they were still running on Motorola chips. But then something happened: I watched Panos Panay present the Surface 3. This was finally a machine worth a look. I liked it a lot as a travel companion. It was light, it had the right ports: microUSB for charging, USB A for the occasional thumbdrive, microSD for storage, but it wasn't powerful enough to challenge my MacBook Pro. Then two years
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Wed, Nov 22nd 2017 8:42p   Volker Weber
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Mon, Nov 20th 2017 10:33p   Volker Weber
been a huge Sonos fan for years, so I’m mystified how they managed to completely fubar the whole system w/ awful recent UI & system updates— briankrebs (@briankrebs) November 20, 2017 Brian Krebs has indeed been a huge Sonos fan. As have I. Then something changed. And I can smell it. This is former CEO and Sonos founder John MacFarlane commenting on Apple's decision not to ship the HomePod before it is ready. These calls are why I respect Apple so much. They are what sepa
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Sun, Nov 19th 2017 8:21a   Volker Weber
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