Thoughts on the One More Thing Event

So today, Apple announced its first Apple Silicon Macs. I have a few thoughts:

  • Wow! I had high expectations, but overall, Apple delivered with the new M1.

  • The M1 performance looks like a crazy leap forward. Generally, we’ll get 3X performance increases and 5X graphics improvements. That is completely nuts.

  • On all of these devices, Apple suddenly had all of this additional low watt/hour power. In each case, they chose to use it by giving the devices both more power and more battery. That isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise, to me at least, is how much power and additional battery life they were able to get.

  • Battery improvements are nuts. They gave many numbers, but it sounds like at least 6 hours of additional battery on both laptops.

  • There are two chip options available: 7 core and 8 core. I suspect that is simply a result of chip binning. When they didn’t get a full yield on a chip, they make that one of the less expensive ones.

  • My initial impression is that the scales just got tipped even more toward the MacBook Air in the Air vs. Pro question. The MacBook Air is so much more powerful and now fanless. You’ll need to justify going up to the Pro.

  • The M1 Mac mini was not in any of the rumors I read but makes sense. The Mac mini is now a mighty little computer.

  • There were no demos of running iPhone and iPad apps on the M1 Macs. Didn’t that seem weird?

  • Speaking of iOS, we didn’t get several of the iOS features I’d liked to have seen, like FaceID, cellular radios, and Touchscreen. But it is still early. I expect that may change with future hardware.

  • Did anybody else catch the bit with Ken Case playing the harp at 20:59?

  • You can order the new Macs today. Big Sur ships in two days. Buckle up, gang.

Overall, this change just gave the Mac a jolt of electricity. I fully expect the Mac hardware to also evolve in unexpected directions. I cannot wait to see how this all plays out over the next few years.

A Few Thoughts Following Today’s Apple Event

  • Every year Apple shows off its latest processor on a chip, and every year I’m impressed. What will it take for the competition to get closer to Apple? It seems like they have this massive lead, and they just keep running at full tilt. Moreover, it is that chip speed that drives so much of the innovation and features. Most of the new features announced today are possible because of processing power.

  • That was the first time that any carrier partner got any time at an Apple event in a long time. I’m curious to see how the real world numbers compare to the promises for 5G. Also, did you catch how many times they said or wrote “under ideal conditions”? It was a lot.

  • The new ceramic shield for iPhone glass sounds very interesting. I have a few predictions on this: a) your iPhone glass will break less often; b) your iPhone glass will scratch easier; c) there are going to be some crazy YouTube iPhone drop tests in the next few weeks.

  • One thing that stands out is how many new announcements (A14, XDR Display, Ceramic Shield, 5G) are all across the line on the iPhone 12. Apple is no longer holding the best stuff for only the Pro phones.

  • I’ve thought that this would be the year that I don’t get a Max sized iPhone for several months now. Then Apple announced the additional camera improvements with the 12 Max. When they explained an 87% improvement in low light, my smaller phone willpower evaporated. Instantly.

  • I think MagSafe might be a bigger deal than expected. We’ve all struggled with chargers and cases in the past. The modular nature of MagSafe will resonate with a lot of people (myself included). However, why’d they have to call it MagSafe? That still stings as I look at my MagSafe-less laptop.

  • It was no surprise that the iPhone is no longer shipping with a charger or EarPods. I get the reasoning, and lowering emissions is a good idea. I do wish they had an easy way for customers to buy these costly phones to click a box and get those things shipped to them if needed.

  • Did you catch that they will now ship a USB-C to Lightning cable? Finally.

  • When they said the iPhone was getting the most popular video game in the world, I thought we’d get Donkey Kong. I’d never heard of League of Legends.

  • You have to think that when Apple decided to make the HomePod mini, the starting point was someone standing in front of a whiteboard and writing, “$99”. I suspect the mini will be much more popular than its older sibling.

  • Speaking of HomePod, mine were going off like crazy with all of the “Hey Siri”s in the presentation. Apple needs to work on that. I’d like to see them let you create your own trigger phrase.

  • In hindsight, using HomePods and Apple devices as an intercom system seems such a no brainer. The question is whether anyone will use it, or it will become the next Walkie-Talkie that still exists on the Apple Watch, but nobody uses.

  • Finally, am I the only one that wants to move into the Apple Demo house?

The Apple September 15 Event

On Tuesday, Apple is having its first of an expected several events over the next few months. Announcements expected over this time are:

  • New Watches on September 15

  • New iPad Air on September 15

After that, there are iPhones, Apple Silicon Macs, a supposed Tile competitor, and who-knows-what else, which should arrive starting in October.

As to the new Apple Watch, 9to5 Mac did some sleuthing and found code related to blood-oxygen level sensors. I’m glad to see Apple continue with yearly updates to the Apple Watch. When you compare what they started with to what we’re going to get on Tuesday, they’ve come a long way.

It also looks like we are getting close to the iOS 14 release. We’ll learn a lot on Tuesday.

The Gather Round Event

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Tomorrow is Apple’s annual new iPhone event, this year dubbed “Gather round.” While the rumor sites are now getting a steady stream of spoiler-heavy information out, I am always curious to see exactly what story Apple tells around the new products. (Usually, they also still have a few surprises.)

Either way, you can watch it live tomorrow in Apple’s Special Events app on the Apple TV or at Apple’s Special Event site from your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

I’ll be sitting in front of my Mac with my popcorn and my keyboard. I’ll be tweeting from @macsparky and also contributing to this thread on the MPU forums where listeners will be weighing in. Enjoy the show.