apple · ios 11 · iphone x · review

iPhone X Review

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iPhone X via Apple.com

My Dad and I have been lucky enough to have picked up new iPhone X smartphones on launch day this year. Since then, I have been using my iPhone X for two months now. I bought the Space Grey 256GB iPhone X. What follows is my review of the iPhone X based on my day-to-day usage.

iPhone X Hardware

The iPhone X hardware, as you would expect from Apple, is exquisit. I am a fan of the glass and metal design language. 2017 brings yet another variation on Apple’s idea of “Space Grey”, but I like this year’s color used on the back glass. The front of the iPhone X is completely black. iPhone X feels heavier in the hand than my year old iPhone 7. Its a kind of heavy that brings with it the air of being a premium product. In practical use, I don’t notice the weight difference between iPhone X and my iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple had done a good job blending the radio antenna lines into the top and bottom portions of the stainless steel band. If you are not looking for them, there is a good chance that you won’t see them. This is a vast improvement over the iPhone 6.

Like the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus before it, and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also released this year, there is no headphone jack. People upgrading from the iPhone 6-series may find this a bit jarring as my Dad did the first time he went to use his old pair of EarPods. Fortunately, Apple still provides a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter and new Lightning EarPods in the box. AirPod users, like my self, won’t miss the headphone jack, but I realize that AirPod owners are still in the minority.

iPhone X is the first iPhone to ship without a Home button of any kind. It is the first thing that people notice about it when I show it to them. So much so, that the lack of a Home button is mentioned before mentioning the new Super Retina display that reaches all the way to the bottom of the device. The transition from pressing the TouchID Home button to swiping up on the Home Indicator bar. In the time I’ve had iPhone X, I’ve only instinctively “pressed” the Home button about six times from muscle memory. In all of those few instances, I was focused on the task I was trying to accomplish and not thinking about iPhone X. When I tried to press the Home button, it immediately felt wrong.

The front of the iPhone X is dominated by the 5.8-inch Super Retina display. According to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for iPhone X the nerdy details about the display are that it is a 2436 x 1125 pixel screen which is about 20% taller than the 4.7-inch display found on iPhone 6/7/8. In practical use, I don’t notice any loss of space coming from an iPhone 7 Plus. Actually, I prefer the width of the non-Plus iPhones because I feel that it gives the user a firmer grasp on the device without having to sacrifice display area. In my opinion, I feel less likely to drop the iPhone while trying to use it one-handed.

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iPhone X Senor Array via Apple.com

As you begin to use iPhone X, it becomes clear that the long-term vision of the iPhone is to be all display on the front of the device. But today, we have the “Notch”. The notch is the non-technical term for the sensor array that is at the top center of the iPhone X. Apple has packs an incredible amount of technology into a relatively small space, including the new flood illuminator, dot projector, and the new front facing FaceTime camera – all of which are necessary for FaceID. Again, in practical day-to-day use, I don’t notice the notch any more. For me, it just melts away as I focus on the content that is on the screen.

iPhone X, like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, includes hardware that supports the Qi inductive charging technology. This has been a technology I have been waiting to come to the iPhone ever since I switched from my 2009 Palm Pre to the 2011 iPhone 4S. It has been a long wait. With a compatible Qi charger, I’m using the Mophie Wireless Charging Base which Apple has been promoting and selling in their retail stores. The Mophie charger does support the faster 7.5w charging that comes with iOS 11.2, but it is expensive. Equally good and less expensive Qi chargers are available at Amazon. In my experience, I have had zero problems with aligning my iPhone on the charge base, charging with a case on, or having the iPhone become misaligned due to notification vibrations. I feel this is because the Mophie base has a soft touch, rubberized finish that helps keep the iPhone in place. While the 7.5w fast charging feature is faster than using the 5w wall plug provided by Apple in the box, it is not nearly as fast as using a USB-C Lighting cable and 29w Apple power brick. I’m all for 29w USB-C cable charging my personal 10.5-inch iPad Pro and first generation 12.9-inch work issued iPad Pro. But, in my case, placing my iPhone X on the Mophie pad, which is on my nightstand, when I go to bed gives me a full charge by the time I wake up in the morning. While I am on the subject of charging, I should mention that in my daily usage of the iPhone X, which is to say I’m not on my iPhone all day long, I can get just about two full days out of a single charge. Most days, when I go to bed, my iPhone X battery is down to the 42-47% range. Your milage will vary, undoubtedly, based on your usage patterns.

The iPhone X’s dual camera system is the first time that the dual camera design has been implemented on a 4.7-inch device. This year’s camera upgrade is a nice bump over previous years, however, I don’t understand the the technical details about cameras and photo theory, so I don’t have an informed opinion here. I will say that for taking every day photos, the iPhone X is great, and if you are a casual shutter bug, you are likely going to enjoy using this camera. If you know what you are doing, you will be able to get some great photos out of this hardware.

iPhone X and iOS 11

If you are familiar with past iPhone or iPad devices, you will be familiar with iOS 11 on iPhone X. As mentioned earlier, the lack of any kind of Home button has forced Apple to change some gestures around. Raise to Wake and swiping up on the Home Indicator is now an important gesture combination for unlocking your iPhone with FaceID enabled. FaceID, which I will talk more about later, seamlessly integrates with Apple’s biometrics features of iOS 11. Apps that support TouchID will automatically work with FaceID and Apple Pay.

On the iPhone X, the iOS 11 Control Center sheet has moved from the bottom of the screen to the top right “ear” of the iPhone’s display. I’m not a big fan of this, as the use of two hands is required to safely activate Control Center. If it really bothers you, the Reachability option can be enabled by going to Settings > General > Accessibility. I haven’t turned Reachability back on, but I have seriously considered it in the past.

The multitasking gesture is another important gesture on iPhone X. Apple describes the gesture as swiping half-way up the screen from the Home Indicator and the holding for a short pause to engage the multitasking view. I found this to be a bit clumsy. Alternatively, I have found that if I make a right-hook style gesture, starting at the Home Indicator and swiping up and to the right in a right turn street sign arrow motion, I can more reliably activate multitasking.

Apps that have been updated for iOS 11 and the iPhone X specifically, look great on the Super Retina display. I like the stock iOS keyboard UI on iPhone X.

As you can see in the screen shots, above, the iOS 11 keyboard on iPhone X (left) is raised up from the extreme bottom of the iPhone as compared with the iOS 11 keyboard on iPhone 7 (right).  I feel that this upward shift gives the user a better grip on the iPhone while still providing access to the emoji keyboard and Siri dictation buttons.

When an app hasn’t yet been updated for the iPhone X screen, below, iOS 11 fills in the screen with black bands at the top and bottom of the screen in such a way as to not interfere with the Home Indicator and status information displayed on either side of the notch.

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FaceID, in my opinion, is a transformative technology. In today’s world of heightened personal information security and constant electronic surveillance, strong pass-phrases are more important than ever. When strong security measures are implemented, usability can suffer. FaceID, I feel, is a good balance between strong security and ease of use. I like to think that I have good pass-phrase hygiene. With FaceID enabled on my iPhone X, I don’t think about passwords anymore. I just pick up my iPhone X, swipe up, and boom, my iPhone is unlocked. I didn’t have to think about entering a PIN or pass code. The FaceID technology in iPhone X quickly scanned my face, did lots of complicated math, and compared the result to the value stored in the Secure Enclave. It’s like magic.

FaceID, as mentioned before, just works with the iOS biometrics security platform of iOS 11. Any app that was written to take advantage of TouchID will work out of the box with FaceID. iOS fans always expect apps like Agile Bits 1Password to just work. However, when financial and shopping apps that have TouchID support automatically work with FaceID, that’s something special that delights customers. This level of integration is hard to come by on other mobile operating systems. Initially, I found the double-click the Power button mechanic of Apple Pay, FaceID, and iPhone X positioning relative to the NFC terminal to be a little bit more difficult to use than Apple Pay with TouchID, I have gotten use to the new way of doing things. The Power button double-click seemed a little odd, until I realized that the same steps are required to use Apple Pay on Apple Watch. I’m left handed, so when I use Apple Pay with FaceID , I have become accustomed to holding iPhone X in my right hand, using my right thumb to double-click the Power button to activate the FaceID authentication scan. In practicality, using FaceID to authorize Apple Pay payments is much easier than many tech bloggers thought it would be based on the accidental beta iOS 11 HomePod firmware leak that happened this past summer.

Rough Road for Early Adopters

There were a few things that were a little bumpy on launch day. My iPhone X arrived with an early version of iOS 11, either iOS 11.0.1 or 11.0.2. My iPhone 7 Plus already had the general release of iOS 11.1. Just before setting up my iPhone X, I backed up my iPhone 7 Plus to iCloud. When I tried to restore my iCloud backup to my iPhone X, I received an operating system mismatch error. In the excitement of the day, it took me almost an hour to understand what the error message was telling me. The fix was to setup iPhone X as a new device, upgrade to iOS 11.1, and then hard reset the X and then restore my iPhone 7 Plus iCloud backup. This really put a damper on the excitement of unboxing my iPhone X and getting to play with it.

I also had some trouble getting my Apple Watch (Series 0) to properly restore and sync up with iPhone X. I ended up unpairing and repairing my Watch twice before it finally worked correctly. I wasn’t able to determine exactly what was going wrong, and based on searching the Internet, some people had this problem too, but not everyone. Just more cold water on an otherwise exciting day.

As a tech nerd in the IT field, I could appreciate the massive technical undertaking it is to rollout a new version of iOS and three new iPhones during the same quarter. My technical side says these were minor issues. The Apple fan side of me found these problems to super frustrating one the one day of the year when I am overly excited about getting a new Apple product. Fortunately, problems like this don’t happen too often on iPhone launch day which is my equivalent to a developer’s and the tech media’s Apple WWDC week.

Accessories for iPhone X

I do have a few accessories for my iPhone X. A must for me, since I don’t order AppleCare+ for my iPhones is the Apple iPhone X Leather Case. I also pick up a pair of Spigen tempered glass screen protectors. And, for wet conditions, since I live in New England, I like to have a non-leather case like the crystal clear Spigen Ultra Hybrid iPhone X case with Air Cushion technology. I would also recommend a set of Apple AirPods if you are looking for a pair of wireless general purpose ear buds. I love mine and use them just about every day.

Wrap Up

If you are a gadget lover, and if you are reading this blog, you probably are, I really think you are going to like the iPhone X. It has exceptional build quality, an amazing display, an incredible camera system, and the transformative FaceID system. Some changes to iOS 11 were necessary to accomodate the jettison of the Home button. After a few days to a week, the replacement gestures will start to feel natural. Early adopters who received their iPhone X on launch day, like my Dad and I, ran into some trouble getting things setup, but anyone buying an iPhone X now should be in the clear.

All of the tech news in the run up to iPhone X’s announcement this past September focused almost exclusively on the $999 starting price. While the iPhone X is expensive, if it is out of your price range, iPhone 8 and iPhone 7-series devices are great choices for people upgrading from older iPhones or coming into the Apple ecosystem from other smartphone platforms.

apple · iphone x · mophie · spigen

Apple iPhone X Launch Day Pre-Party

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The toys and my Apple t-shirt are lined up and ready to go!

In just a few hours, the all new Apple iPhone X will go on sale in the United States.  I’m super pumped.  My Dad is excited, too.  With pre-order reservations ready to go, there are just a few more things that I wanted to get ready for tonight.

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A last minute FOMO purchase on iPhone X eve.

After originally telling myself that I was going to wait to buy the Apple AirPower Mat, I panicked at the last moment and purchased a Mophie Wireless Charging Base, the Spigen iPhone X Screen Protector GLAS.tR Slim HD (Amazon link), and the Apple iPhone X Leather Midnight Blue (aka Grassia Standard Blue) case.

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iPhone 7, iPhone X, and iPhone 7 Plus leather cases (left to right).
apple · apple store · iphone x · trumbull

iPhone X Pre-order Extravaganza

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It’s 2:40am on Friday morning, October 27, 2017.

I stumble out of bed, trying not to wake up my wife who is sleeping next to me. The bright white light of my iPhone 7 Plus’ screen temporarily blinds me. You might be wondering why am I up this early? “It’s just a phone” never crosses my mind. For me, the new iPhone X represents the new high water mark for what is possible for cutting edge tech gadgets.

Like many of you, as 3:01am eastern time, 12:01am pacific, rolls around, I begin frantically refreshing apple.com and the iOS Apple Store App. (Can we still call the iOS Apple Store app the “Apple Store” app?) The minutes tick by. 3:03am, 04, 05, 06. Double-click Home. Swipe up. Relaunch. Repeat. iPhone. iPad. iMac. If you didn’t know better, you’d think I was having some kind of OCD episode. 3:07am, 3:09, 3:13am. “Come on, Apple! Let’s get going! They’re selling out!” I mutter in frantic hushed tones to myself while hunched over my computer desk.

Finally! 3:15am, and the iOS Apple Store loads. I stab at my iPhone screen trying to get to my Favorites List, which has my iPhone X configuration saved. iPhone X, Space Grey, 256GB. I can’t wait to get my hands on iPhone X. Face ID looks so cool! I can’t wait to try it. The app lags. I confirm my Sprint account details. “Hurry up, already!”

And just like that, things go bad. The Sprint servers crumble under the onslaught that is iPhone X pre-orders. “We’re sorry. This feature is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later. OK.” I force quit the Apple Store app. I try again. No luck. I grab by iPad. The same. Surely, my iMac and Safari can get the job done, but it was more of the same. Noooo!

Clutching my iPhone 7 Plus, I feverishly try again. And, again. And, again, until a new error message appears.

“We are unable to connect at this time. We’re sorry. There was a problem connecting to the carrier’s server. Please try again in a few minutes.”

My hopes of getting an iPhone X on launch day, next Friday, November 3, seemed dashed. It’s 3:55am, and I can’t even get my cellular account verified. Maybe if I just make a cup of coffee and then try everything would be better. Then, at 4:10am, Sprint sounds out a tweet that their servers are being worked on. The Apple website is showing shipping times for iPhone X at 4-5 weeks. Then, 5-6 weeks. I’m crushed.

I get ready for work. I try to keep it all in perspective. I’m freaking out about getting a new cell phone. It’s just a phone. There’s nothing wrong with my current cell phone. Well, nothing, except that it isn’t the super cool iPhone X. “Get it together, Grassia,” I keep telling myself. I say a little prayer to God, thanking Him for all that he has given me. My family. My health. A good job. A roof over our head. These are truly the important things in life.

Still, nothing. In a fit of rage, I tell myself that I’m switching to Verizon. I hate Verizon and AT&T, but their customers have their pre-orders already. Ok, let me check just one more time before I have to go to work.

Success!! The Apple Store app on my iPhone finally is able to validate my Sprint account! I add the Midnight Blue iPhone X Leather Case to my digital shopping bag. Miraculously, the app is showing that iPhone X is still available for in-store pick up. At my preferred store no less – Apple Trumbull! (No disrespect to my friends at Apple New Haven, Stamford, or Danbury!)

Holding my iPhone in my left hand, I poke the Buy with Apple Pay button with so much excitement, I thought my right index finger was going to pierce the screen. A few more taps and a Touch ID thumb print later, my order confirmation screen appears. I’m getting my iPhone X!

I send my Dad an iMessage with my confirmation screen. He was going to place his order this morning too.

“How did you get your order #” was his reply? How?! From the app confirmation screen and email. A quick phone call later and I realize his order didn’t go through. A brief detour for more coffee and I manage to untangle my Dad’s order. Guess what? His Verizon iPhone X is still in stock at Trumbull. Then I realize, we’re both getting our new iPhone Xs on the same day. At the same store, at the same time! It’s time to break out our Apple Trumbull t-shirts for another road trip!

This is craziness, to be sure. It’s an insanely expensive cell phone. An insanely great iPhone, yes. But I wouldn’t have traded the experience with my Dad for anything!

Get ready Apple Trumbull team, that crazy guy and his father well be back again real soon!

 

apple · apple store · apple tv · apple watch · appletv · ios11 · iphone 8 · iphone 8 plus · iphone x

First Impressions from the Apple Special Event (September 2017)

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CEO Tim Cook had said that Apple was “doubling down” on security to clamp down on leaks coming out of the company. While visions of the then unreleased iPhone 4 danced in my head, Apple suffered two massive leaks in the run up to today’s fall event. The accidental leaking of the HomePod firmware few weeks ago and the golden master iOS 11 build this past weekend really spilled the beans on many of the surprises that Apple had in store of us. While I am saddened that a lot of surprises were spoiled, I’m hoping for some truly delightful hardware and software announcements.

What follows are my first impressions about the new products and software Apple announced today.

Welcome to Apple Park

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The September 2017 event is the first public event to be held at the new Apple Park campus, and the first time products are being unveiled in the new Steve Jobs Theater. From everything I’ve seen so far of Apple Park, the place looks amazing. (But, I’m not sure I would want to work in those wide open spaces.)

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It’s a fitting tribute to Steve that “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles is playing while we get some really impressive shots of the new theater. While the facility is impressive, I find it hard to ignore some of the yellow caution tape and orange cones still visible outside.

As the presentation gets underway, we hear Steve Jobs talking about Apple.

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Tim opens up the event by saying: “I love hearing his voice. And this inspiring message.”

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Damn. I really miss that guy.

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One of the things that I really do appreciate about Tim Cook’s Apple is that even on important days like today, he takes time out to call attention to the people who have been impacted by the devastating storms in recent days. In addition to Apple’s corporate donation to bring people relief, Apple is promoting it’s customers — you and me — to make our own contributions via iTunes. If you haven’t already made your contribution, please, do so now.

Just in case you were wondering, and, let’s face it, I was, Apple Park will have a vistor’s center, opening later this year, with a new retail store. I really, I mean, really need to make a trip to One Infinite Loop and now Apple Park also. This new campus really does look impressive.

Retail Update

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It has been a long time since we last received a retail update. This is also the first time that we have seen Angela Ahrendts on stage. A lot of folks, myself included, have been wondering when we might see her speaking at an Apple event like this.

Ok…uh, I’m not sure I’m “California” enough to call my local Apple retail establishment a “Town Square”. To me, it’s still the Apple Store. Just for the record, I still prefer MacOS, too. Old habits die hard. All of that said, the designs of the new marque stores and even the remodeled shopping mall locations, like the one I visited not that long ago, are really cool places to shop and play with all of the new toys.

One of these days, I should drop in and stick around for a Today at Apple session. They seem cool and a fun way to learn a new trick about using my Apple gear.

And, I’m happy to hear that the Apple 5th Ave location will get it’s gigantic glass cube back once the space has been fully renovated!

It is just me, or do you thing Apple should do a new coffee table book and wallpaper set of glam shots of their marque stores? I’d love to have these shots on my 5K iMac and MacBook Pro.  Ok, I’ll stop now, but I still think that a new coffee table book talking about the history of these places and wallpapers are free ideas for Apple.

Apple Watch Update

Tim’s claim that Apple Watch grew 50% YoY without sales numbers to back it up feels a lot like looking at a Jeff Bezos Amazon Kindle or Alexa growth chart.

Did Tim just say, “This is blow away”? Does Scott Forstall get a royalty for that? Come to think of it, I miss that guy too.

Hey! The Woz is in the building! (Watch the audience pan immediately following the Apple Watch feel good video.)

Jeff Williams takes the stage to give us an update about what’s new in watchOS 4

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I’m glad to see the new features of the Apple Watch Heart Rate app. The new elevated heart rate warning feature looks like it is the only reason you need to go out and get a new Watch. With the weather getting colder now, I’m not sure how much more walking I’m going to be doing at night, but come this spring, I might have to retire my original Watch and get a new Series 3 Watch.

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Apple watchOS 4 is a free update for all Apple Watch customers on September 19.

So, now Apple Watch Series 3 has cellular service built-in. I’m sure that there are a lot of people who are excited about this. Me? Not so much so. Call me cheap, but I don’t want to give the carriers a dime more than I absolutely have to. My previous Watch Series 3 comment aside, when I do finally get around to upgrading my Watch, I plan on getting a model without cellular.

It is pretty cool that Apple has apparently worked out a deal with the carriers so that your iPhone and Watch share the same phone number. That should make things easier on the reduced UI of the Watch (compared to that of the iPhone UI). It’s also pretty cool that when your Watch is out of range of your iPhone, the Find My Friends location switches from the phone to the watch.

I’m not a subscriber to Apple Music, or any other streaming service, so the Apple Watch + Cellular + Music Streaming thing is completely lost on me. Might be great for you, and that’s totally fine, but I’m giving it a “m’eh”.

Ok, now we’re getting to the fun stuff. All the new tech that’s crammed inside Watch Series 3. I like the fact that Siri can talk now on Series 3. It’s one of the things I miss about using Siri on my Watch verses all of my other Apple devices with Siri.

Well, hello there, W2 chip! And, using the display as the antenna for the wireless radios seems like a cool idea…as long as Apple does’t end up telling us that we’re wearing it wrong.

I’m also glad to hear that Series 2 and Series 3 cases are the same size. That means my collection of bands from my original Watch should still be compatible.

Orders for Apple Watch Series 3 will start on September 15 and goes on sale on September 22.

Apple TV Update

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Tim talks a little bit about the major milestones in TV technology. Apple TV 4K is the next obvious step. I don’t watch all that much TV and I don’t have a 4K TV. So, while this is a cool announcement, like Apple Watch + cellular + Music, it’s hard for me to get really excited about this.

Eddie Cue comes out to talk about the specifics of the new Apple TV 4K. Coming from a guy who wears Hawaiian shirts to work on Friday, I’m a little disappointed by the tame shirt Eddie is wearing. But, I digress.

With Apple TV 4K being asked to push all of those HDR pixels around, it’s no wonder why Apple stuffed an iPad Pro A10X Fusion chip in the new Apple TV.

What is cool is that Apple is updating iTunes with 4K movie content as the same price as iTunes HD content. That’s really nice seeing how 4K Blu-ray discs are more expensive than the standard Blu-ray version. 4K content at the same price as HD content on iTunes, I think, will be a driver for people to move from Blu-ray players and discs.

Ok, Eddie, now I’m impressed. Free HD movie upgrades to 4K versions at no additional charge. Honestly, we knew a 4K Apple TV was coming because leaks. I was fully expecting another iTunes Plus moment where people can play the difference between HD and 4K to get the upgrade without having to play full price. It’s nice to see Apple eating the cost on this and not passing it on to customers.

Also I’m glad to hear that the Netflix app, and the it will get here eventually Amazon Prime app will provided 4K steaming support to the Apple TV. Apple needs these two partners providing Apple TV users with 4K content.

Live sports…..Zzzzzz….

I will give you the ThatGameCompany Sky game demo looks pretty cool. I’m still looking for that killer game that will make me use want to play a game on Apple TV rather than my iPad Pro. Sky will be available for Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone this winter.

Apple TV 4K orders start on Friday, September 15 with unit sales starting the following week on September 22.

iPhone Update

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Tim is just getting back on stage to talk about iPhone. I just had a terrible thought. Please don’t let Tim pull out “One more thing” to introduce D22, the new, expensive iPhone we all have been talking about for the last year and was confirmed by the HomePod firmware leak.

Tim lays it on pretty thick for the non-Apple nerds by going over the last 10 years of iPhone hardware/software innovations. They have come a long way in the last decade.

Phil Schiller comes out to talk about iPhone 8. Yup, 8, as in skipping right over 7s.

While the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus look very similar to the iPhone 6/6s/7 models, the iPhone 8 series sees the return of the glass front and back design last seen on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S from 2010 and 2011. My first iPhone was the 4S. I still have it on my desk. It looks like I will have to keep waiting for the return of the squared off sides like the iPhone 4 and 5 series had.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come in three colors this year: Silver, Space Grey, and new Gold finish. The aluminum antenna bands match the front and back plates. I won’t like, I think that they look nice. If I didn’t already know that there is a third iPhone coming this year, I would be ordering a Space Grey iPhone 8 Plus. It looks really nice.

I’m really glad to see True Tone displays coming to the iPhone. After living with the new 10.5″ iPad Pro for a few months, it really does make the display on the iPhone 7-series look inferior.

The iPhone 8-series will be the first iPhones to feature the new A11 Bionic chip.

That’s a LOT of horsepower for a pocket computer. Let’s face it, these things stopped being just “phones” a long, long time ago.

If you care about mobile photography you need to have an iPhone 8 Plus. Hands down. No question. Full stop.

The new advanced lighting AI feature is really cool. Really cool. Available as a beta feature on the iPhone 8 Plus, the Camera app is able to digitally change the lighting in a photo while you are preparing to take the photo. It is also very cool that you can alter the lighting after the photo is taken. Phil was very clear the point out that this is NOT a photo filter system. This is real-time lighting analysis.

What Apple is able to do with the camera hardware and software for shotting photos, high def video, and AR features is amazing. I have no idea how you go about doing this stuff. Its just like magic.

Palm Pre with Touchstone Wireless Charger, circa 2009
Palm Pre on Touchstone Inductive Charger, circa 2009

The iPhone 8-series now supports inductive charging!

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The iPhone 8-series now supports inductive charging! I’ve been waiting for this feature since getting my iPhone 4S back in 2011. Finally.

The wireless charging using in the iPhone 8-series is called Qi. Mophie and Belkin received a glancing reference about their charging pads. there’s no mention of an Apple branded charging pad. Yet.

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Ok, now it’s time for the rubber to meet the road. Apple is only offering iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in two storage capacities: 64GB and 256GB. With the iPhone 7 Plus, I went for the middle, 128GB, which is gone now. That’s good news, I think, because my general impression is that people just need more storage on their phones. My wife’s iPhone 6s is perpetually full. The bad news is that the starting prices are going up, up, and away! iPhone 8 will start at $699, while iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Ouch!

Pre-orders for iPhone 8-series starts this Friday, September 15, and go on sale on Friday, September 22. iOS 11, which did not get any stage time, will go live for everyone on Tuesday, September 19.

On more thing…

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Oh, Tim. I really don’t know how I feel about this. I remember back to Steve’s keynotes and how excited I got. It was like watching a baseball game where the New York Yankees come from way behind in the bottom of the 9th, against the Red Sox, to win the game. Those were awesome. This doesn’t feel awesome to me. Don’t get me wrong. I get what Tim’s going for, given the accolades at the beginning in Steve’s honor, but this misses the mark, I’m afraid.

“We have great respect for these works and we don’t use them lightly.” Ok, at least there’s that.

Please welcome, the iPhone X.

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The iPhone X looks cool. I’m glad that it has a new glass back and a stainless steel frame. It looks amazing. I am having a hard time with the name, thou. X. As in 10. Didn’t Mac OS X just get renamed to macOS? Was it because the X was moving from the Mac to the iPhone? I don’t know. X is cooler than 10, but I think iPhone Edition would have made a better name.

I’m glad that there are only two colors for iPhone X; Space Grey and Silver. I’m not a fan of the Gold/Rose Gold colors. There’s a special place in my heart for (Product) RED devices, and I can see an iPhone X in (Product) RED coming in six months, but for now, yeah, I’m good with Space Grey and Silver. I’m sure that I’ll be ordering the Space Grey model.

iPhone X’s display is call the Super Retina Display, which, of course, brings all the goodies. I am really excited to see this display in person.

Raise to Wake and Tap to Wake are fine features, but I already miss Touch ID and the Home button. That said, I generally like the feel of the new display, notch and all. But the gut reaction is that I would immediately flip the status bar, putting the clock on the right and radio signal and battery indicators on the left.

Face ID = Simple. Nature. Effortless. Thank goodness, Phil didn’t say “courageous”.

I’m not smart enough to understand how a neural engine works, but if Face ID is as easy to use as Touch ID was, I don’t care. Neural engine might as well as been synonymous with “frickin’ awesome”.

Phil also says that Face ID can’t be fooled by photos or professional quality masks. That’s a shot at Samsung. Apple has clearly done their homework with all of the hardware they put into this iPhone. Time will tell if Face ID is any easier to crack than Touch ID or Samsung’s thing, but I’m willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt here. This looks really cool and I can’t wait to get my hands on iPhone X.

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C Fed is on stage to demo iOS 11 running on iPhone X!!

Face ID for unlock looks like it is going to be fine. Even when paying for groceries with Apple Pay. The new swipe gestures, I think are going to take some getting used to, after all, we are talking about 10 years of muscle memory, but I think after a few days, it will be fine too.

Cool! Portrait Mode selfies!!

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Yeah, my kids don’t need an education. (I’m kidding.)  I have all new accessories to buy on top of the crazy expensive iPhone X. AirPower really does look super coo!. #Need. It is going to be a long wait for AirPower to come out “next year.” On the plus side, I don’t have to buy another AirPod charging case now. So there’s that.

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Ouch!

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Pre-order for iPhone X is October 27 – wha? Over a month away. If I had Animoji now, there might be a soft serve frownie face here.

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Ouch again. But I’ve already taken that day off from work.

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Here’s the 2017 fall iPhone line up.  Obviously, I want all of this stuff “yesterday”.  It’s going to be a long, drawn out wait for November 3 to arrive.

Overall, I thought this was a good event and I’m looking at getting my hands on these new toys in the months ahead.