What do folks think about the iPhone 7?

Who is excited about the iPhone 7?

Thoughts after the announcement?

My Haiku:

I miss Steven Jobs

Social Justice important

Camera more so

My thoughts watching the presentation…

The first portion is devoted to the design of the exterior. But if the phone is kept in a case, as most iPhones are, what difference does that make? Are consumers supposed to take their phones out of the case and wave them around for others to admire?

The new camera on the small phone… f/1.8 lens. The old one was f/2.2 so that’s about half an f-stop? More powerful flash but it won’t be powerful enough to serve as a fill light and who wants to take images lit primarily by an on-camera flash? Is the sensor actually bigger? Upgraded to Samsung or Sony size? Most of the example images seem to have been taken in undemanding outdoor sunshine. I’m going to guess that if what you want is a wide-angle image in low light the Samsung S7 or the latest Sony phones will do a better job due to their larger sensors.

The new camera on the big phone… two sensors, one with a wide-angle lens and one with a longer lens that Apple calls “telephoto”. Can we just say “I am taking a portrait so use the long lens?” Apparently that is what happens when you tap once and get “2X”. If this is in fact 2X magnification then the longer lens is not accurately described as “telephoto” but would be “normal” (the basic iPhone supposedly has a 29mm equivalent lens, so 2X is 58mm and most photographers would say that telephoto begins at 90mm).

Okay, it seems that the “telephoto” lens is 56mm full-frame equivalent. So that is a normal lens from the 1970s. And there is a “portrait” mode that just uses the normal lens. Maybe there should be a Cartier-Bresson mode in which the normal lens is used but there is no attempt to have a shallow depth of field. (Cartier-Bresson was famous for his reliance on a 50mm normal lens.)

As a parent I’m already sold on this new phone (the 7 Plus only) because it would be nice to have a reasonable portrait camera in my pocket at all times.

Getting rid of the headphone jack… headphones that plug in via the Lightning connector seems fine. Plus they throw in an adapter for old-style noise-canceling headphones that are expensive to replace. Nobody will be forced to go through wireless configuration hell to listen to music.

But if you want wireless configuration hell… they give us the AirPods. Another thing to charge and it doesn’t look as though they can be charged wirelessly. So you don’t plug in when you want to listen. You plug in a day before you want to listen. Unless you forget. And then you don’t get to listen. How will they stay in a person’s ear anyway? They look smooth and slick and ready to fall out.

Speaking of wireless… can this phone be charged wirelessly? If not, why not? Trying to make the case super-thin before the phone goes into the real case?

The new chip is 2X faster compared to two years, presumably due to having more transistors and a slightly faster clock. At least Apple’s mobile division seems to be adhering to Moore’s Law, unlike the world’s desktop and notebook computer makers.

Video towards the end: It seems that all iPhone 7 users will be young, attractive, and slender. Some will have tattoos. They will take pictures of other young attractive people. Thank God Apple is not making a product for people over age 35. Let Grandma fuss with Android.

The new storage capacities seem like a joke, still. My phone says that I’m using 40 GB. This despite the fact that I don’t have any music or commercial video stored on it. ForeFlight stores 3.4 GB of what I need to fly around the Northeast and then there are photos and videos that I’ve captured (17 GB). Somehow Messages is using nearly 1 GB. I don’t see how anyone could use an iPhone without at least 64 GB of storage, not unless he or she employed a full-time sysadmin.

Missing: Was there a mention of water resistance for the new phones? Did removing the headphone jack help? (the specs page says IP67, good down to 1 meter and “no ingress of dust” for the Burning Man crowd)

14 Comments

  1. Fazal Majid

    September 7, 2016 @ 3:25 pm

    1

    Why would anyone be excited about a new phone? They’ve long past the sufficiency point and are now a replacement market, not a growth one. The question is whether to get this one or wait for next year’s with the redesigned case and OLED screen.

    The problem with audio through the Lightning port is you can’t charge your phone at the same time you are listening. At least they are not charging $79 for the dongle as they did with the near-mandatory USB-C to A passthrough charging dongle on the MacBook.

    Bluetooth audio is horrendous, and there is no way the airpods will stick in your phone unless you are one of the mutants with the cartilage indentation to hold them in place.

    As for the case, I never used one until the iPhone 6, which was slippery as a soap bar. Hopefully the gloss black finish will be grippier, as the iPhone 5 was. The IP67 water-resistance (up to 1 meter) might be a decisive factor for those like my wife who are less careful with their personal devices.

  2. jack crossfire

    September 7, 2016 @ 3:53 pm

    2

    Steve Jobless would have had 4 cameras: 28mm, 58mm, 100mm, 200mm. We don’t really know the 2x is 58mm. It could be just a label for 100mm.

  3. Robert Silvers

    September 7, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

    3

    “Why would anyone be excited about a new phone? ”

    Because it is not a phone, it is what used to be called a supercomputer. Except it is in my pocket at all times. It is exciting, and the way to buy it is to spend the $42 a month to lease it for a year, and they will give you a new one next year with OLED.

    Bluetooth is bad for audio, but AirPods are not Bluetooth.

    Yes, the phone is water resistant. Also they claim a 7+ is one hour longer battery than a 6+.

    Agreed that an iPhone-6 is too slippery to use without a case.

  4. philg

    September 7, 2016 @ 4:13 pm

    4

    Fazal: I’m not excited about a new phone. I’m excited about a new pocket camera!

  5. J. Peterson

    September 7, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

    5

    Expecting a busy market on ebay for orphaned left or right Airpods.

  6. wally

    September 7, 2016 @ 8:11 pm

    6

    I love my I-phone
    as much as masturbation
    maybe more so

  7. Les

    September 7, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

    7

    The camera is the main selling point for me. Here’s the best info I’ve found:

    http://bgr.com/2016/09/06/iphone-7-specs-dual-camera-features/

    Re: telephoto. Apple is doing exactly what aftermarket lensmakers like Moment do. They call the longer focal length telephoto rather than normal, because the public doesn’t know what a normal lens is. It isn’t telephoto by the usual definition, but it’s longer than what smartphones had before. (FWIW in light of the telephoto option I was hoping the wide angle lens would be a little wider than the previous 30mm version they’re using.)

    Re: the sensor. I generally think of big sensors as being better for things like reducing ISO noise. Multiple small sensors may be a novel way of avoiding some of the problems with a single small sensor. Time will tell.

    I dunno about removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. Headphones work across devices. I’m not looking forward to having one set for the iPhone and another for everything else. This seems similar to Apple’s embrace of USB-C to the exclusion of regular USB ports – adapter hell.

  8. Jim

    September 7, 2016 @ 10:32 pm

    8

    wally: I think “possibly” works better than “maybe”. Do you agree?

  9. Sam

    September 7, 2016 @ 11:16 pm

    9

    You people bashing bluetooth for audio must not be using apt-x. Get an android phone and listen through it. Night and day difference vs what the iphone bluetooth offers.

  10. Demetri

    September 7, 2016 @ 11:37 pm

    10

    I’m so bored
    time for a new toy?
    Oooh, shiny!

  11. Andrea

    September 8, 2016 @ 12:45 am

    11

    Only interesting thing for me is the shallow DOF thing

  12. G C

    September 8, 2016 @ 1:39 am

    12

    Yawn for most of this stuff. Wireless earbuds? Pass. The camera gets better with every iteration, though. Looking forward to some samples.

  13. wally

    September 8, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

    13

    Jim: agreed, thanks

  14. Robert Silvers

    September 10, 2016 @ 9:05 am

    14

    What really grinds my gears are reporters calling the normal lens a “zoom” lens. The terms zoom and telephoto are not interchangeable. So even if you think that a 56mm-equivalent lens has a narrow field of view, at least call it telephoto and not zoom.

    Speaking of which, the lenses do not have a 28 or 56mm focal length of course, so they should be reported as “equivalent” values. That is almost as frustrating as 10 watt LED lamps being called “60 watts.”

    In a previous post I said that AirPods were not Bluetooth. They are, but have a higher quality codec than what is typical for Bluetooth. I think they should use AAC though, not Apt-X, as then in some cases it would not need to be re-encoded. I think they would fall out of my ears, so I can’t picture buying them. The solution is to have a safety cable that connects between them and is tethered to the phone.

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