Julie’s gadget diary – iPhone X-citement

I left work early this afternoon just so I could go home and watch the iPhone X Apple event in real time instead of reading live streaming commentary from a big site like Gizmodo or The Verge. I started out watching it on my 12″ MacBook but a few minutes into it, I had a light bulb moment and hooked up my iPad Pro 10.5 to my 65″ Hisense H8 4K TV using an Apple Lightning HDMI adapter for an ultimate viewing experience.

While the event was playing on the TV, Dave Rees and I were using iMessage to chat about the new hardware announcements as we were seeing them. Not that any of the info Apple talked about today was news to us since there have been eleventy billion leaks leading up to today’s event.

However, there was one little surprise right before the iPhone X unveiling that almost brought a tear to my eye…

Yes, we’re geeks and we embrace it.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when it was all said and done, the iPhone X unveiling felt a little flat to me. I guess because the bulk of the event was spent talking about the Series 3 Apple Watch, new Apple TV, and the new iPhone 8 devices. It felt like they only saved about 30 minutes (I’m guessing on the 30 minutes, maybe it was more or less) of the 2 hour event for the news that all of us were really waiting to hear the most.

Does that mean I’m not going to order the iPhone X? Heck no. I’m definitely going to order one on October 27th. Ugh, that wait time (and the price) really sucks.

I will say one thing, yay for Qi wireless charging! It’s about time Apple! That AirPower wireless charger pad looks really nice for people who own a new iPhone, Watch, and AirPods. It won’t be available until next year though.

See also:  Gadgeteer team EDC updates – Dave Rees

Also yay for Face ID. At least I hope I’ll be saying yay once I get a chance to try it. Fingerprint scanners just don’t work every time for me, so I’m really hoping Face ID will work as quick and easy as they make it out to be. That said, the first demo on stage failed! Hmmmmm…

More surprisingly for me, I’m also seriously considering an Apple Watch. It’s crazy but I’ve yet to ever try an Apple Watch. Just yesterday I was talking to Dave about wanting a wearable audio device that I could use to listen to Spotify playlists and/or podcasts while I work out at the gym so I don’t have to carry my iPhone around with me from machine to machine. I was seriously considering dragging out one of my old iPod Nanos to see if it would still work although I’d have to load my own music using iTunes and that sounds too painful because I hate iTunes.

Today when Tim announced the Series 3 Apple Watch with built-in cellular, I thought my wishes had been answered. That and all the talk about the heart rate and other fitness features have me considering buying one. I’m just worried that I’ll buy one and not use it to its full potential. So I still need to think about it.

How do the rest of you feel about the iPhone 8, X, Apple TV, and Apple Watch news today? Excited? Bored? Ready to bust out your credit card on Friday or October 27th (ugh!)? Let us know in the comments below.

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25 comments… add one
  • Michael Strange September 12, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Julie,
    Definitely going to be ordering the iPhone X on Oct 27th. Love everything about it, except that price. OUCH!!!
    Also going to be ordering the new Apple TV. I’ve been waiting for them to finally upgrade to 4K with HDR10/Dolby Vision.
    Very excited about both products!
    Going to be an expensive couple of months. ;>)

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2017, 4:48 pm

      What variant of the iPhone X do you think you’ll order?

      One thing just occurred to me that the unlocked version might not be available for pre-order on 10/27… That’s what I would want to buy.

  • Michael Strange September 12, 2017, 4:59 pm

    Going with the space gray 64GB.
    You’re probably right on the unlocked version not being available. But you never know.
    You need to pick up an Apple Watch, especially with the new upgrades. I’m not normally a watch person, but after buying mine (Nike Edition series2) I love it and never take it off. But an upgrade for me is going to have to wait at least a year.
    FYI I went to the gym early today’s so I could get home in time to watch the Apple event live. So I’m right their with you and Dave.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2017, 5:17 pm

      I’m not a watch person either but I might be able to change that if I really like and use the features. Right now I just want music and podcasts on my wrist. I have to decide if paying extra for cellular is worth it since that’s probably all I’ll ever use that feature for. Although another thought just occurred to me. Is there a little grocery shopping app for the Watch that can be updated by more than one person like the Google Keep app I use now on my iPhone and Jeanne’s Samsung Note 2? Not having to pull my phone out of my pocket, unlock it, look at the next item on the list or mark the item off the list, could be nice.

      FYI: I think you and Dave actually look like brothers/twins with your shaved heads 😉

      • Smythe Richbourg September 20, 2017, 2:24 am

        I use Wunderlist (a free app that was bought by Microsoft a year or so ago.) It’s ostensibly a to-do list, but I have a Costco project, and a Home Depot project, as well as a HoneyDo project, all of which my Lovely Bride can edit. It has a nice Watch app, too, so I can run around the store checking things off on my watch to-do list.

  • Michael Strange September 12, 2017, 5:34 pm

    I use an app called ‘todoist’ it’s great for shopping lists. It’s also compatible with my Echo dot so all I have to do is say “Alexa add toothpaste to my shopping list” and it shows up on my Apple Watch in the app under ‘Alexa shopping list’. No more digging in my pocket to pull out my iPhone. And I’m sure there are others you can use.
    FYI just remember bald is beautiful. LOL. 😉

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2017, 5:44 pm

      I might have to switch from Keep to something else once Jeanne gets my hand-me-down iPhone 7 Plus. Thanks for the tip.

    • Margaret September 12, 2017, 10:08 pm

      I love Todoist! It lets me sort my Alexa shopping and ToDo lists (a feature that the Alexa app is sorely missing).

  • Peorgie September 12, 2017, 10:51 pm

    I’m on the upgrade program with my 7, so I’ll trade it in for something. I’ll hold out until the SIM free models come out , so that will give me a chance to see if I can live with the size of the X. From what I gather, it’s somewhere in between the 8 & 8 Plus.

  • eClipse September 13, 2017, 12:30 am

    ((*snooze*))

    Apple just invented wireless charging, edge-to-edge displays, and a watch with a sim card. Typically 3 years behind and they can charge a grand for it.

    Oh, and facial recognition.

    Gotta hand it to them from a marketing perspective, but there’s nothing new here,
    and they are now clearly behind the tech curve chasing Android.

    • Daniel Storbeck September 13, 2017, 6:58 am

      Whats about firmware-upgrades on the android phones? Which one, except the Google-own ones, is on current version? The most devices are on version 6 Marshmallow, some are on 7 Nougat, 0,1% are currently on 8 Oreo…. BAD!

      Face recognition, yes, Samsung has this first, but you can cheat on it with a simple photo. The Watch doesn’t have it’s own SIM-card… it’s shared with the one from the iPhone. You didn’t need a second contract or a second SIM.

      I like Apple, they are not the fastest with inventions, but then, they will work.

      • Brad Haakenson September 13, 2017, 12:06 pm

        Those adoption numbers, which Tim Cook brings up every year, have always been something of a red herring. They are accurate but extremely misleading, just like a lot of the other information presented at Apple product announcements.

        Most of the application APIs for games, mapping, location services, etc. are handled by Google Play Services, which are frequently updated on older phones. It provides application access to new and updated features. Unfortunately, the existence of the play services does reduce the motivation for long-term OS upgrades for older phones. In contrast, when Apple orphans a phone, it is completely abandoned.

        At the same time, on Android, you can replace launchers and UI elements, to keep them up to date with the latest features, even if they have been orphaned. Another thing missing from the Apple repertoire.

        What it comes down to is that you have a choice. You can either use IOS or Android. IOS is beautiful and functional but lacking in any real innovation (for the last four or five years). Android is not as pretty but more functional with the ability to customize the experience, where innovation is rampant and the ability to customize and refine is wide open.

        Both OSs are incredibly powerful and capable. When asked, I say that Android is for people that drive sports cars and tinker, while IOS is for people that drive luxury cars and want the mechanic to add windshield washer fluid. Decide who you are and buy the device that suits you. The analogy doesn’t always hold true but is pretty close (and yeah, I know Julie drives a Mini Cooper). I’m currently rebuilding the carbs on my fifty-year-old MGB. Guess which OS I use…

        So, enjoy whichever OS is right for you but don’t feel the need to justify it.

        • Julie Strietelmeier September 13, 2017, 12:31 pm

          Good analogy. I love to tinker which is why I was with Android for so long until just recently. Even though I like my iPhone 7 Plus, I still feel the pull to go back to Android. I will have Samsung Galaxy Note 8 loaner unit waiting for me when I get home tonight. I’m wondering if it will make me rethink the iPhone X purchase next month.

      • P51D007 September 13, 2017, 2:06 pm

        I’ve never been a “jump on updates”, been burned by firmware/software updates a few times since the late 80’s.
        Personally, other than security updates, the version (at least on android) isn’t really that important, since around version 4.3 jelly bean. Pretty much all apps in the google store, work on 4.3 and above. So, if there isn’t really anything earth shattering in the software updates, that the older apps take advantage of, other than some security patch, what difference does it make. I bet most people have no idea what version of software is on their phones. If they turn them on and they work like they are suppose to, that’s all that matters.
        Personally, I think cell phones are WAY overpriced. I won’t pay $1,000 for ANY smartphone, regardless of manufacturer. To me, they are tools. I’m not one of those that I see daily, around college & schools that can’t stand to have them out of their hands 24/7. I guess I’m just old. My first phone was given to me by my employer, the old motorola Dyna-Tac “brick”. I’ve always hooked them onto my belt, never clutched in my hand. At the end of the day, I put it down, and rarely pick it up til the next day. On weekends, I typically just don’t even use it.

  • Daniel Storbeck September 13, 2017, 7:00 am

    I will order an iPhone X with 256GB in space grey. Next week I’ll order the new Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular as Nike+ in black with the new sport-loop.

  • David September 13, 2017, 11:43 am

    I’m not so enthused about a cellular watch. That seems to me to be another excuse for the cell companies to charge me for yet another device. I already pay for a phone and an iPad. I usually have my phone with me, so a cell phone watch seems a waste of money for me.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 13, 2017, 11:50 am

      My desire to buy a Watch is quickly wearing off as usually happens for me a day or so after an Apple announcement. I think they use subliminal messaging to program people to want to buy their products. Or I’m just a soft touch. 😉 At this point, I still plan to order an iPhone X. 😉

  • Patrick L September 13, 2017, 12:04 pm

    “That said, the first demo on stage failed! Hmmmmm…”
    With respect, no it didn’t. FaceID behaved just like TouchID in that after the phone is powered on or restarted, you must enter a passcode before using TouchID or, now, FaceID. This was not a failure of FaceID, but a failure by whoever set up the primary demo phone.
    In fact, the first time he actually used FaceID (which was immediately afterward on the backup phone), it worked instantly and perfectly.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 13, 2017, 12:07 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. One thing I don’t like is that you still have to swipe up to unlock even after it correctly IDs your face. At least I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

      • Patrick L September 13, 2017, 12:17 pm

        A swipe up is equivalent to a home button press, so it seems like the process is very nearly the exact same, because just putting your finger on the button and authenticating does not currently take you to the home screen (unless you change a setting).
        Now: You raise the phone with your finger on the home button. The phone wakes, and authenticates. Then you press the home button and you’re in, or you don’t and you can use lock screen features that require auth.
        iPhone X: You raise the phone. The phone wakes, and authenticates. Then you swipe up (equivalent to button press) and you’re in, or you don’t and you can use lock screen features that require auth.
        The main difference is that right now you can bring up the phone in your hand while pressing the button, thereby authenticating and opening the home screen all at once. With iPhone X, I would think that you’d be able to swipe up as you’re raising the phone, and once it sees your face it’ll open to the home screen. That’s probably slower than the current process, but not by much. So you’re trading a second or two to open the phone for an edge-to-edge OLED screen with a presumably more secure form of biometric authentication.
        Obviously we’ll all need to get this phone in-hand to really see if it’s as usable and seamless as TouchID, or near enough as not to matter. But it doesn’t seem all that different in the steps to unlock the phone IMO.

    • Brad Haakenson September 13, 2017, 12:18 pm

      I would say that the demo absolutely failed. But I agree that the feature worked as intended and did not fail. The demo was either badly conceived or somebody didn’t follow the script.

      The problem is that demos at live streamed product announcements have to go flawlessly. Now, most people that saw it live or elsewhere (it’s on the front page of CNN) will have the perception that it failed and that will cost Apple sales of their new flagship device. That is a failure.

      • Patrick L September 13, 2017, 12:33 pm

        Almost everyone who will have seen that will probably be technology-inclined, and hopefully knowledgeable enough to see exactly what happened (i.e. FaceID was not even invoked). And the vast, vast majority of iPhone users and buyers didn’t see it, and probably won’t care even if they did, and Apple will still sell a bunch. I’d be willing to bet someone who’s willing to pay that price for that phone isn’t going to hesitate at purchase and say “Oh, well now hold on, that live demo of FaceID didn’t go perfectly, so I’d better hold off on this”.
        The demo wasn’t badly conceived; the concept was “use a demo phone to show FaceID”, and the concept couldn’t have been simpler or less fail-prone. What failed was a very small step in preparation, one that was remedied instantly by going to a backup phone. In fact, if he’d been willing to take the time, he could have (had he known it) put in the passcode, re-locked the phone, and then used FaceID on that same phone. Maybe he should’ve done that and while doing so say something to the effect of “as you can see, FaceID behaves just like TouchID after the phone is powered on or restarted and requires a passcode first”. A failed demo would have been FaceID actually failing to work on the first try, which it didn’t, because the first try was on the backup phone where it worked flawlessly from the start. My guess is that someone restarted the primary phone to give it a clean-slate startup and forgot to unlock it once. That person is likely in some trouble, but it’s just not a big deal.
        If someone who saw that decides not to buy the phone based on the phone behaving exactly as intended and not failing in any way, that’s on them and not Apple, and Apple probably won’t lose much sleep or many sales over it.

  • David Baker September 13, 2017, 3:10 pm

    Look I get it, apple’s new phone is pretty. I can’t even give you guys a hard time about the price as I pre-ordered the note 8, and am using it now. , don’t see the need to switch. Bigger higher res screen, fingerprint, iris, and facial recognition. Also no apple id. What’s better?

  • Patrick L September 14, 2017, 6:53 pm

    More regarding the “failure” of FaceID: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/14/apple-face-id-didnt-fail-keynote/

    Failure by the setup staff to realize that FID was scanning their faces, but FID worked perfectly by NOT letting Craig authenticate after too many previous failed authentications.

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