Apple Event Takeaways?

ben profile image Ben Halpern Sep 12, 2017

Apple made some announcements today, wondering if anybody has thoughts about what will impact our worlds the most.

I can't stop thinking of all the stuff that could be done in the time they took to implement animojis x_X

I'm not a regular apple user but I think the Face ID unlock is really extra. But every other thing is perfect.

Animated emojis would be cool if I was seven, but I really dislike the direction they've been headed with the software over the last year or two. All of their new features in messaging, emojis, etc are all things that I would never think to use in a million years, and would never even try outside of a display model in an Apple store. I would prefer to see something that is actually useful and enhances your quality of life, not a new messaging feature that you're gonna try with your friends once and then never use it again.

I feel like they ran out of ideas with the software and have just been winging it for the last year.

All of their new features in messaging, emojis, etc are all things that I would never think to use in a million years

Most teens nowadays are using imessage more than any other mesaging service, and I don't doubt they're using a lot of emoji and other pictographs. There is a large segment of people out there who use their phone this way, and a large segment of users who use their phone for photography - Apple knows usage patterns for the majority of their customers, and they're building their phones accordingly. You may not like that software but it's something that comes added from hardware included for specific goals.

While that might be true for people that have iPhones, as a teenager myself I would say that probably 90% of the messaging that my high school did was through Facebook Messenger or Snapchat (I would say only about 60% of my grade actually had iPhones, the rest were Android people). Everyone had a Facebook account, but not everybody had iPhones, so most people didn't use iMessage that I saw. The problem with Apple designing these Snapchatlike iMessage features is they only work with other Apple users, whereas other platforms like Snapchat and Messenger work on almost any device, so they can capture a much broader market. That's why I don't like Apple trying to make their iMessage "cool" for the teens; they can't capture the same market as their competitors, so why focus on it?

I see this as a lot of pressure, but sort of half-baked execution to compete with Snapchat and the other companies chasing this sort of interaction. Would you think it more useful to support those specific apps and keep their own presence as more of a platform?

Yea, I think if they partnered with Snapchat or another company on the gimmicky social features and had their software team focused on more utilitarian software changes (I don't even know what I would want for these, but I know it's not animojis) I would actually consider going back to an iPhone.

I would also guess, though, that the Animoji team is siloed enough and it's not really taking resources away from platform/os devs. Given the massive size of this company, I wouldn't think they're especially resource-constrained in this way. I'd guess the presentation itself pays outside attention to this because the general public pays more attention to it. For better or worse, it is clear people are talking about this part.

True, they have plenty of software developers to be able to work on many things at once, I just have issues with them trying to compete with a company like Snapchat since Snapchat has a wider available market than Apple could ever get because iMessage is iPhone only. Animojis really aren't that different compared to Snapchat's face filters, and way more people can use Snapchat compared to iMessage.

IDK, to me, it seems like a waste of time and resources. It seems like it would have been better to partner with Snapchat (especially since they did the face tracking demo with snap filters!) than to create their own "competitor" on iMessage.

I'm not really an apple user, but the bit where they mentioned "The facelock feature fails 1 in 1,000,000 tries" and then failed on first attempt is probably something none of us will forget.

That was pretty funny, but I think the 1 in 1,000,000 failure rate mention was about security, not execution, so a false negative in this situation probably helps the point. @tbodt is still betting against the 1 in 1,000,000 in his comment though 🙃

It may be true that 1 in 1,000,000 people can unlock your phone, but what about carefully constructed adversarial examples? If you do research on breaking machine learning, see if you can get the lab to pay for an iPhone X to experiment on.

Also, 1 in 1,000,000 means there's on the order of 10,000 people out there who can unlock your phone.

No one can escape demo-failures. Not even Apple.
lol

I don't think that's what they meant. There is a 1 in 1'000'000 chance that somebody else could unlock your phone with their face. It still will fail much more often on your own face, though ;)

Like most Apple events, a lot of things Samsung has had for a while, but some serious attention to UX, and the new iPhone looks pretty damns slick. New A11 Bionic chip sounds pretty amazing, but I'm not super caught up on how the rest of the industry looks and how it stacks up. But Apple's custom hardware to work with its software is always a strength.

As a software developer, the easier switching-between-apps feature stands out as something which could promote more native app development. As it stands, app use is major power law distribution, with the big companies dominating peoples' time. But easier switching will make it more appealing to download that extra app.

As an iOS Developer, I also agree that the iPhones looks amazing, especially in the processing chip department. Since support for AR and ML have been came out recently. it is nice to see hardwares that could keep up with these new technologies.

I'm a bit worried about FaceID though, it's a good technology to begin with but I don't know how easy it is to use for real life scenarios.

I don't think if I had a million $$$ sitting in my account today, I would wanna spend 999 of that on the iPhone, except to use as an ornament.

Point is, I don't think the phone is worth a 999 price tag. Of course, it is Apple, and they get to charge whatever they want. Not to say the phone isn't sweet-looking, but let's be honest.

We're talking about a 1k$ for a phone? a Phone!

Here's what 999 gets me:

  • Sony Xperia XZs - 550.00$ = 23mp camera/960fps, does every sensible thing the iPhone does, and even more.
  • Sony SBH70BK Headphones - 59.99$ = up to 650 hours Talk time: up to 8.5 hours Streaming time: up to 6 hours
  • Eventually throw a LineageOS onto it (optional)

That's some 380$ left.

What do I do with the 380$? You tell me, but I'm thinking of getting a truck load of Lays Potatoes (all spices) and KitKat fingers!

With budget above: huge battery gains + outstanding performance + makes calls still!

"Sony Xperia XZs - 550.00$ = 23mp camera/960fps, does every sensible thing the iPhone does, and even more"

Please tell us what more this Sony does?

How about you check this resource for more of what the Sony does: gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_xzs-8599.php

My contract was up a couple of months ago and I've been waiting to see which I'd upgrade to. For the stainless steel edge alone I'm going for the X.

FaceID, Animoji..... all meh.

I know some people will scream that Samsung has an edge to edge display - the display is even made by Samsung! But baby that screen! It really stands out and suddenly the S8 display looks dated.

I think the bezels of the X are no match against the S8. Samsung really did an amazing job with that.

That said, I am definitely going to go touch the X's screen as much as I can at my local phone store.

I feel like they've distanced themselves from my problems lately. I can barely use my iPhone as a phone because I keep getting spam calls from Rachel at Card Holder Services. I would buy the next iPhone if they could promise me I'll never hear from her or her cohorts again.

The cellular Apple Watch is exciting, but again I am skeptical. I wasn't able to get Apple Pay to work on my Apple Watch the last time I went to Trader Joes just a few weeks ago. I get the impression that some gung-ho tech guy is gonna be super bummed the next time he goes on a run with just his watch and tries to buy some organic thing at Whole Foods.

The face recognition stuff is really cool, and the animojis are clever and fun. I've just never bought into the whole "self expression through emoji" phenomenon. Maybe I'm starting to get old, but it feels kind of childish to have to pick a face to go with a text message. I'm not sure when it became customary to do this (😄) to let you know that I say all of these things in jest and actually feel great as I write these words.

As someone who enjoys writing, I sort of loathe the intrusion of tiny pictures into everyday discourse. This latest update only furthers that particular agenda.

I really want to love Apple. There are still quite a few things I love about their company and their culture. Swift is an amazing programming language. But just as youth is wasted on the young, it is wasted on a phone.

Honestly, face mapped 3d emojis are the best part.

Also I bet that within a week Face ID will be shown to be less secure than a 4-digit passcode.

The dot projector idea with neural nets reiterates that Machine Learning is the future. I am sure it will find its way to many other use cases in the time to come.
If the face lock feature works as per expectations it would be a huge artificial narrow intelligence win.

Oh yes. I think people in our circles were a bit distracted by the silliness of the Animojis and didn't notice how slick and promising the whole presentation was. Apple really seems to have a good thing going right now.

I really would like to see Apple succeed in the post-Jobs era. Today's event seems like more riding the legacy of what was built while he was the focused driver.

Incrementalism.

Holding onto hope that the capable team at Apple has its next big market breaker in the wings.

The FaceID is super interesting. I'd really like to see them implement the 3d sensing tech in the forward facing cameras.

We (iPhone users) finally get edge-to-edge screen, wireless charging, and water-resistance...and the animojis takes all the glory/hate LOL

My iPhone 6s is paid off, perfectly sized, has plenty of free storage, headphone jack, and has an amazing battery life. Looks like I'll be skipping another generation of new iPhone.

Same. There's just not enough to convince me to trade in a chunk of my freedom for it.

I have a feeling that Animoji (animated emojis w/ recorded messages) will be huge in China, since WeChat, the biggest social media in China, uses recorded voice messages.

I am just waiting for "Facelockgate" or "Facegate" to trend on twitter :)

The underlying technology is cool, but all the use cases and the caricature they paint as their average user is a bit too candy/snap/china/walled garden for me. My Samsung G7 does most of this and I am still free to do what I want.

So.... your G7 can give you all the candy/snap/china/walled garden apps that you desire. Excellent.

The animoji. It was shit.

I'm def going to grab the X, upgrading from 7s. A lot of money, but it's my most used computer by far. And it's our main camera.

Animoji... Um, didn't FaceRig have similar features?

Lawsuit maybe?