The Internet is a vast place. I try to make sense of it, one meme at a time.
The iPhone Company
It’s Apple earnings day which means two things:
1) Wall Street freaking out amidst record numbers.
2) Lots of people on Twitter linking to lots of different charts trying to explain Apple’s quarter.
I’m pretty sure we’ve reached peak chart.
The issue is that the only real things these charts show at this point is that Apple is both a habitual company and a money-making machine. And, to some extent, they prove the law of large numbers. The charts aren’t going up-and-to-the-right as fast as they used to because well, there are only so many people in the world who can buy Apple products.
The Extinction Of Printers, The End Of Paper
Later this week, I’m going to a sporting event. The tickets were bought online. But they’re asking that I print out the ticket in order to get into the arena. I just checked my calendar. It’s 2014. When will this madness end?
If I had to guess, I’d say that 75% of the things I printed last year were tickets to sporting events and/or shows where a physical copy of the ticket was required. Why were they required? Who knows. We all carry these small devices perfectly capable of displaying an electronic ticket. 1 But some venues are seemingly nostalgic and reluctant to change.
But they’ll have to, of course. And so I wonder: how long until there is no more paper in this world?
MG Siegler nails it.
Want A New iPhone? Let’s Take A Look At Your Options
Now that Apple’s announced the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, a lot of people are going to be in the market for a new iPhone. And now that we have some distance from the actual event and some details on how the phones are actually going to work, I think this is a good time to detail the new features and how they’ll actually help you.
Here’s the thing about the iPhone 5c: it’s just an iPhone 5 wrapped in a plastic shell. So really, if you have an iPhone 5 this shouldn’t be an option for you. If you have a 4S or 4, the upgrades are fairly substantial. You get a 4-inch iPhone with LTE (if you get LTE, that is).
There are some neat colors, and that’s cool. But this is essentially a rebranding of the iPhone 5 for people who can’t afford the iPhone 5s. It looks like it’ll still be a good phone and hands-on impressions so far have been positive about the plastic back. It does, however, have some improved bands and Wi-Fi, but nothing earth shattering.
This is the biggest ‘S’ upgrade Apple has ever done. The leap from 5 to 5s is larger than the leap from 3G to 3GS or 4 to 4S. Here’s why:
64-bit A7 processor
Not only is this thing 2x faster than the iPhone 5, it also boasts graphical capabilities that will produce games that look on par with stuff that’s on PS3 and Xbox 360. For a mobile device that sits in your pocket, that’s damned impressive.
The other thing is the 64-bit part. While that doesn’t do anything in the immediate future, it is good for the industry on a whole. 64-bit processors that are “desktop-class” essentially allow for devices to use more than 4 GB of RAM. That’s huge.
Apple putting a 64-bit processor in a phone (the first time ever) puts pressure on competitors like Samsung and HTC to use 64-bit sooner rather than later. That means that more and more phones will use 64-bit, which will result in more and more software using 64-bit, which means phones with over 4 GB of RAM, which means your phone will be able to do more things. It’s already happening, with Samsung announcing that their next generation phones will indeed use 64-bit processors.
M7 Motion Coprocessor
The Moto X has given us a glimpse of the future: phones that are contextually aware of their location and what that means. And that’s why the iPhone 5s houses a secondary ‘Robin’ processor to the A7’s ‘Batman’ processor.
This little guy’s job is purely to keep track of movement, so that the A7 can hum along and not get bogged down doing too much at once (resulting in lower battery life). So what can the M7 actually do for you? A lot.
Not only could it turn your phone into a Nike Fuelband, keeping track of your movement and telling you exactly how active you’ve been throughout the day. That means that popular health apps like Lose It can help you determine how many calories you’ve lost from activities - no expensive Fuelband or Fitbit required.
The other thing it does is change your phone’s behaviors based on your movement. The iPhone 5s now knows when you’re driving or in a car, so it won’t waste battery life pinging you and asking you to join nearby Wi-Fi networks. It’ll also guess when you’re sleeping (because it’ll be stationary for a long time) and power down processes so it doesn’t ping the network as much for a signal (again, helping battery life). Plus, Apple Maps will now automatically adjust directions so that when you hop out of your car it’ll switch to walking directions to get you to your destination.
Reports also say that Apple will use the new tech to greatly improve Apple Maps, adding features that will allow you to keep track of where you parked your car or indoor walking directions.
Camera + True Tone Flash
The iPhone already has a great camera. It might not be as feature packed as some other cameras, like the Samsung Galaxy S4’s or the Nokia 1020, it does mostly work really well (except in low light and when you use the flash).
The iPhone 5s’ camera is greatly enhanced though. While there aren’t any more pixels, the pixels are larger. That means that more light is let into the 5s’ larger camera sensor (and new f2.2 aperture for low light performance) to give you better quality photos.
The software is much improved too, now taking 3 - 4 photos when you click the shutter button and combining them to make the best picture possible. And then there’s the new slow motion mode that allows you to easily shoot in 120 frames per second while also allowing you to slow down segments of your video.
The True Tone Flash is the best part of this new camera system though. What it does is, when you click the shutter button, analyze the area you’re taking a photo in and flashes the dual LED flash (one white, one amber) in a combination that better suits what you’re taking photo of.
That means that your photos with the iPhone’s flash enabled won’t look washed out and terrible. Seeing as how the iPhone camera’s worst feature is easily the flash (i’ve only used it as a flashlight), this is a welcome upgrade.
Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
This is the most advanced fingerprint sensor put in a consumer device. Easily. Hands on impressions from Apple’s event say that that its easy enough to set up (takes about a minute) but that it’s even easier to use.
All you have to do is press the home button and then let your finger rest there for half a second. The phone quickly scans your finger and unlocks your phone. And not only that, but you can use it to authorize App Store, iBooks and iTunes purchases without having to type in a password every time.
This is a trivial thing, because I don’t think it’s a problem for most people. But I’m sure that once it’s used it’s something you don’t want to ever turn off. And of course, Apple promised that they never see your fingerprint data (it’s stored on your phone and never sent anywhere). I think Apple may have destroyed the password on mobile devices, but we’ll see how people take to it.
So there you have it. The features that make the iPhone 5s a worthy upgrade over the 5. In fact, this might be the only ‘S’ upgrade from Apple that I actually like and feel compelled to buy.
I would go as far as saying it’s the best upgrade since the iPhone 4. Unlike the last two updates in the 4S and 5, it actually has significant upgrades that people will use every day (sorry Siri, and sorry parts of the world and country that don’t have LTE).
Note: This post is not meant to compare this phone to any Android device. It’s purely for people who already have iPhones and are thinking about upgrading.