It’s that time of year again: time for another Apple event, when all of our older iPhones seem to magically start acting funny.
Responses to the live streamed event, this time streamed to YouTube in addition to their website, have been mixed. Some are excited for the launch of new products, some are underwhelmed by the changes, and some are just straight up annoyed.
So let’s dive right into the highlights (and lowlights) of the event:
The Ehhh: iPad and Watch Series 5
There are some pretty minor and underwhelming changes here. The new iPad is essentially just the current 6th generation, entry level iPad with a lil makeover. The improvements are better brightness, a better viewing angle, an A10 Fusion chip, a new smart keyboard, and a new iPad OS. Nothing too crazy or groundbreaking. It will remain at the current price of $329.
The Watch Series 5 has similarly ehh improvements such as the always-on display and a compass. The GPS-only models will start at $399 and the cellular models will start at $499. The basic model Series 3 will remain in the collection but the price will reduce to $199. At the event, they mentioned a few health studies conducted on the Apple Watch and announced a new period tracking app.
What is pissing people off: The iPhone 11 Pro + Pro Max
The iPhone 11 was announced at a starting price point of $699, and it boasts slightly better specs than the X and a dual camera. But no one really cares about that as much right now.
The big boys are the Pro and Pro Max, starting at a whopping minimum price of $999 and $1099, respectively. While there are always gonna be huge Apple stans that will bow down to the tech giant for any and everything they put out (not gonna lie, I usually am), responses on Twitter have been overall annoyed by the discrepancy between meaningful upgrades and the huge price tag.
There are some definite improvements to these premium models, such as the “Super Retina XDR” OLED displays, battery life that is supposed to last up to 4 hours longer than other models, a luxurious matte display, and enhanced photo abilities such as the impressive night mode and an improved portrait mode.
But again, that’s not what people really care about. What Twitter has taken to tear to shreds is the ugly tri-camera and the slow motion selfie capability, nicknamed “slofie.” This camera, I’m sure, is going to take great pictures, but you cannot deny how freakin’ ugly this thing is. Everyone is saying it looks like a fidget spinner, but to me, it looks a little more like this:
Either way: ugly as hell.
As far as the slofies, this is how people feel about them:
The Good: Apple Arcade + Apple TV+
Personally, these announcements alone make up for much of the lackluster or cringey-ness of the rest of the product launches. They are genuinely large developments for the company and signify a shift from products to services, a necessity for Apple since iPhone sales are down.
Perhaps the most attractive factor of both the products is the price: just $4.99/month for each service. Apple TV+ also offers a whole free year of service to those who buy new Apple products after the launch (yeah, they are definitely feeling those declining phone sales)
The technical factors of Apple Arcade are intriguing, too: it is the first gaming subscription service compatible with iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and Mac, you can start a game on one device and continue on another, and it supports PS4 and Xbox One controllers.
While both platforms will only have original content, and that lack of overlap with other streaming platforms or video game networks could limit their ability to compete, from the game demos and movie trailers premiered at the event, the content seems solid. The Apple Originals display A-list celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah, and Steve Carell.
So do I think that this was the most impressive, revolutionary Apple Event to ever happen? Absolutely not. Do I think that I have lost all faith in Apple’s ability to innovate, absolutely not, and not just because Apple has basically brainwashed me at this point.
So in conclusion, catch me not getting the new watch or iPad, watching that new Jason Momoa movie on Apple TV+, talking trash about that ugly ass camera and making fun of all the slofies on Instagram. But that’s just me.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.