The only interesting things about the new iPhones/ iOS

Not interesting:

  • colours
  • cheap vs expensive
  • ‘flat’ design/ transparency/ parallax effects
  • 64 bit processor

Interesting:

TouchID + Bluetooth Low Energy (iBeacons)

Apple just put a method in your pocket to verify your identity instantly with any device it can connect to through this new bluetooth standard. Want more security? Use voice recognition in tandem to verify a phrase.

Put it in a watch and it’s more convenient than ever. It’s no co-incidence that iCloud Keychain is also on the way to keep all your passwords in one place. And don’t forget Passbook securely holds things like your plane tickets right through to your Starbucks card. Your thumb is now the easiest way to access all of this, in an instant.

Controller support… but no controller announcements

iPhone gaming is an unexpected success (Apple has never cared about the area before) — but is hamstrung by not being able to do ‘traditional’ games justice. Seeing the glitzy graphics of Infinity Blade (a game that really only works on a touchscreen), you have to ask how far out of reach Vita or even current gen console games are on the device.

Perhaps an explanation for the lack of updates on this major area will come in the pre-Xmas Apple event this year. Considering the lineup, it’s iPods and iPads for sure — where they’ve really played up the gaming message recently. If they come on stage and account proper controllers in conjunction with a new Apple TV that gets games onto the screen in an elegant fashion, this would make sense.

A dedicated motion CPU

The fact that the quantified self movement relies on devices outside your phone, even for simplistic things like step count, is stupid. I don’t care if it’s on your wrist or a little widget in your pocket, these devices are a mess today and unlikely to go mainstream in contrast to the integration announced today. By making the phone itself handle the laborious ongoing tracking, it means you can add sensors for specific tasks (heart rate) or sync with nearby devices (e.g. a running machine via iBeacon.)

I still don’t totally buy into the idea that these things present meaningful value and accuracy yet, to the degree the mainstream would need and expect. But by becoming an effortless add-on that doesn’t kill your battery, the selection becomes more about software than hardware. And this area is ripe for a “there’s an app for that” approach. 

Did I miss something? Let me know.

- Max Tatton-Brown

September 12th, 2013

  • Danny Whatmough

    It’s gold.

  • http://MaxTB.com Max Tatton-Brown

    HOW DID I MISS SOMETHING SO OBVIOUS.