My notes from Yesterday’s Apple Announcement (iPhone X)

1504235064_apple-special-event-september-2017-steve-jobs-theater-iphone-x-launchI put together some notes as I watched yesterday’s Apple event streamed live from the new Steve Jobs theater at the new Apple campus. I sent them out to fellow Mac users at work (I am one of the strong supporters of Macs where I work), and got such good feedback, I thought I’d gather the notes here on my blog to capture them for myself in the future.

Plus, this blog is lonely. I don’t write on it nearly as much as I would like.

So with that being said, here’s my notes from yesterday’s Apple event (aka the annual fall announcement of the new iPhones).

  • Tim Cook opened the event with a tribute to Steve Jobs.
  • Broadcasting from the new Steve Jobs theater in the new Apple park.
  • Apple park converted from a “sea of asphalt” into a green space. Designed to be seamless with Nature. Brings the outside in and connects everyone to the beautiful California landscape
  • 100% renewable energy powered. One of the world largest on site solar farms
  • Great visitor center open later this year. More than just an apple store. Focus on inspiring people, as well as discovering and exploring new products
  • Retail update – Angela Ahrendts
    • No longer call them “stores”, call them Town Squares
    • new store designs – creating plaza, open spaces open to everyone,
    • Launched “Today at Apple” – classes/sessions to teach people to use their phones to take photos, or swift playgrounds, to teacher Tuesdays where they keep educators up to date on the latest technologies
    • These sessions are led by a new position called the “creative pro”, a complement to the genius bar
    • Continue to open new ones, and reinvesting in the current ones.
    • Tim Cook especially proud of the apple employees
  • First product up: Apple Watch
    • 50% year over year sales growth
    • Apple watch is now the #1 watch in the world
    • 97% customer satisfaction rate (industry leading)
    • Tim Cook: most important thing to apple is how the watch is helping to change people’s lives.
    • Bring on Jeff Williams to talk about new stuff.
    • Watch OS 4 – redesigned workout app, Gymkit a new app to link to gym equipment.
    • Enhancing the heart rate app. more data displayed, adding feature to detect elevated heart rate when not active.
    • Announcing Apple Heart Study: Will use Watch data to analyze arrhythmia and notify users. Collaboration with Stanford Medical. Starts in US.
    • Next gen apple watch: Apple Watch series 3
      • Cellular built in
      • number is the same as your iPhone
      • Can use Siri, maps, text and phone calls, Find my Friends automatically switches to Watch from iPhone.
      • Same size cases. New gold aluminum finish in sport. New band colors. New band called Sport loop (light, stretchy and breathable)
      • Cellular, GPS, 70% faster processor, Watch OS 4
      • Series 1 $249, Series 3 without cellular $329, Series 3 with cellular $399
      • All versions Available in both 38mm and 42mm
      • Orders begin Sept 15, Available Sept 22nd
  • Next up: Apple TV
    • Announcing Apple TV 4K
    • Eddie Que
    • Supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.
    • To be honest, I am not a video aficionado so I don’t know what all of the different terms mean.
    •  A10X fusion chip. 2x CPU performance and 4x graphics performance of current Apple TV
    • Working with large studies to bring all their 4K versions to the iTunes store, all at same price as the HD versions
    • If you’ve bought HD version, automatically upgraded to 4K at no charge
    • Apple TV 4K starts at $179, Sept 15th order, Ships Sept 22,
  • Next up iPhone: iPhone 8
    • Giving a summary of the impact of the iPhone these 10 years.
    • No other device has had the impact on the world like the iPhone.
    • so essential or put so much power into people’s hands as the iPhone
    • Our intention with iPhone has always been to create something so powerful, immersive such that the hardware disappears.
    • “Apple has always believed that technology infused with humanity can change people’s lives and improve the world.”
    • Phil Schiller to talk iPhone 8 (4.7”), iPhone 8 plus (5.5”)
      • This is a huge step forward for iPhone
      • Glass in front and back. Side band made of aluminum (Assume this is the antenna)
      • Silver, space grey, and new gold finish
      • 7-layer color process, 50% strengthening, glass reinforced by steel. Most durable ever in a smartphone. Microscopically sealed.
      • A11 processor, six-core CPU, 64 bit design
      • Lots of specs, but basically, better for games, and much better for photos (dual cameras in the Plus)
      • More power allows for AR (augmented reality). AR being added to apps – MLB at bat to show player stats in real time as scan around the ballpark. Sky Guide uses AR to superimpose star maps on the sky around you (awesome app. I use it myself a lot)
      • Still has home button
      • Future is wireless. – Wireless charging
      • Qi open wireless standard – Any Qi-certified charger will work with iPhone 8.
      • New generation of iPhone, packed with innovations.
      • iPhone 8: 64GB ($699), 256 GB ($849)
      • iPhone 8 plus: 64 GB ($799), 256 GB ($949)
      • Preorder Sept 15, available Sept 22nd
  • One more thing – iPhone X (X pronounced “ten”)
    • “We’re not stopping there. We do have… one more thing.”
    • The Future of the Smart phone
    • “Reveal a product that will set the path of technology for the next decade” (video)
    • Biggest leap forward since original iPhone.
    • Phil Schiller back up again
    • iPhone X
      • Edge to edge, top to bottom display,
      • Glass on front and back, same as iPhone 8
      • side Band made of polished stainless steel (assume this is the antenna)
      • water and dust resistant at microscopic layer
      • Two colors: Space grey and silver
      • Super retina display
      • Super Retina Display: 5.8-inches. 2426×1125, 458 ppi. First OLED display great enough for iPhone.
      • Raise to Wake, or tap the screen to wake
      • no more home button – opportunity to rethink the way to use it
      • swipe up from bottom to go “home”
      • iPhone X locked until you look at it, and it recognizes you – Face ID
        • Uses True depth camera system area – sensors at the top of the screen
        • neural networks and machine learning creates a mathematical model of your face, and check the results from the camera against the mathematical model created on board, to unlock the phone
        • A11 bionic chip with built in neural engine
        • requires user attention to unlock., opens even in the dark
        • Chance of random person unlocking your phone is 1 in 50,000 touch ID, 1 in 1,000,000 for Face ID
        • also works with apple pay & 3rd party apps that work with Touch ID
        • Animoji – can create custom emoji’s that follow your facial motion, and record them and send in iMessages
      • Amazing cameras – dual optical image stabilization, low light zoom, f/1.8 and f2.4, larger, faster, deeper. *Dual* optical image stabilization. Better low-light. 2x bright Quad LED flash.
      • Battery life: 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7
      • Wireless – also wireless charging, Qi certified charging, but made it better to move the industry forward
        • Airpower: new Apple wireless charging matt that can be used by both iPhone and apple watch and new air-pods with wireless optional charging case – coming next year
      • new Jonny Ivy video played of the iPhone X.
      • iPhone X: 64GB ($999) and 256GB ($1149). 
      • pre-Order starts October 27, shipping November 3
    • iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 (regular and Plus) also still being sold
  • In summary, Tim Cook thanks everyone who works at Apple
  • “I think Steve would be really proud.” – Tim Cook
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RSM app review: Wunderlist

I have been a long time user of “to do” lists, both at home and at work. Making a list of the things I need to get done is the best way for me to keep my world organized.  When I started working at my current job, I was introduced to a formal list making program by the folks at Franklen-Covey.  Once I got my very own Franklin Planner, I never looked back. I am never without it.

Once my family gave me my original iPad, I started to think that perhaps I could replace the physical planner with an electronic one on the iPad (and hopefully the iPhone).  I’ve been searching for a while, and I think I might have finally found my replacement. Let me walk you through all of the apps I’ve tried and my thoughts on their usefulness.

The first app I tried to use was Evernote. I still think that Evernote is an awesome app and gets daily use on my iPhone, iPad, and my Mac to share bits of this or that as I coordinate my life. The synchronization between all of my computers makes it a hit. I can use it from whatever Apple device I find myself using at the time, and all of the data is gathered into one place.  It’s a great way to gather data  into topics for use later. I’ve taken to using it as an invaluable tool in the planning of our Family Disney World vacations.  But it’s not a to do list app. It’s too much for that. I need something a bit more simple that just does lists.

Then I tried a series of apps specifically called “to do” or “getting things done” apps. All of them let you manage lists and some offered the ability to put those lists into related folders, but none of them were easy to use. I kept using my physically planner, hoping I’d eventually find something. Among them were: Nubi Do, Toodledo, and Apple’s Reminders. I thought that both Nubi Do ($4.99) and Toodledo (free) did what I wanted but I didn’t care for the interfaces. I actually started to use the Reminders app (also free) at the beginning of the year as an experiment, but since I am not yet moved to the iCloud, I couldn’t sync between all my devices so I stopped using it.

Then I read a review on the blog of a fellow Disney fan, Kidani Katie, of a to do list called Wunderlist. As Katie puts it, this one is also free so it doesn’t cost you anything to check it out.  Immediately, I liked the interface. Versions are available for just about any platform, mobile or not, that you can think of. I downloaded it to my iPhone, my iPad and to my Mac OS X laptop. Even though I am an iOS fanatic to the core, I still find typing just a bit easier with a physical keyboard over a virtual keyboard. There, I said it, and I will deny having said it to anyone.

I started  by setting things up with the Mac OS X app interface. First, I set up a wunderlist account. This is how all of your lists will synchronize across your devices. Since I will be sending these lists up to a server, I am mindful not to include anything that I wouldn’t want to be saved to a cloud interface. Next, I set up boxes for work, for home, for kids specific, etc. In my Franklin Planner, I’d categorize my to do list by splitting it into two: work and home. Wudnerlist allowed me to break that down even further.  Then I went about figuring out how to enter to do items. It took me a few minutes of tinkering to figure out how to link those to do items with a date. If they are entered under the boxes they don’t have a due date. You have to put those in by hand.

Once everything was set up, I logged into the wunderlist app I’d installed on my iPhone using the same account I’d set up on my OS X machine.  After a little bit of syncing, all of the boxes and to do items I’d created on my Mac magically appeared.

Mac OS X interfaceI found the iOS interface to actually be a bit more intuative than the Mac OS X interface. It was easier for me to add information (notifications, due dates, categories, notes) to individual to do items via the iPhone than on my Mac just because of the layout on iOS. In spite of not initially thinking I’d use the iPhone interface other than to add or check off the occasional items from my lists, I actually do most of my list making on the iPhone. I think that once everything was set up the way I wanted it to be, that day to day entering is simpler on the iPhone.

My great experiment really started when I noticed half way through my day that I had left my Franklin Planner in a bag in my car. I hadn’t even needed it.  I did all my lists entirely electronically and aside from some notes I took in a notebook in a meeting, I didn’t even need paper.

It’s been about a month now, and I can safely say that the iPhone has replaced my Franklin Planner in tracking my to do list. It’s always with me; fits in my purse; is on my night stand. In fact, I use the iPhone more than the iPad to do my list tracking because it is the thing that I always have on hand.

If you are looking for a getting stuff done to do list tracking app, I’d heartily recommend you give wunderlist a try.

Enjoy,

RSM