First of all, I’d like to say, ignore my display name. I made this several years ago and I can’t be bothered at this point to make a new account.
So Basically, in this little opinionated article I’d just like to talk about some of the things that I have picked up on or noticed that perhaps are wrong or perhaps are correct over the past few days. These include the use of the digital crown on the Apple Watch, the timing of the releases of some of the iOS and apple pay features and some other things I’ve noticed.
So starting with the digital crown. I’ve seen on some article here on 9to5Mac and on other tech sites that some have been complaining about the digital crown. One of the primary complaints that I’ve seen is that how are we supposed to know when it scrolls and when it zooms. Well after re-watching the keynote from Tuesday, I picked up on some things. The crown appears to zoom whenever zooming would usually be applicable, and scrolls whenever that is applicable, as you would expect. Very rarely do you zoom and scroll vertically on the same element. For example, on a map, the crown would obviously work for scrolling because a 1-dimensional scrolling device can’t appropriately navigate the application. But then if you are changing one of the complications on the watch face, it will obviously work for scrolling, because what purpose would scrolling have there?
Still on the Apple Watch, I’ve also seen some people complain about the layout of the applications and the sizing and whatever else about the home screen they can find to nitpick. Well, with this we have to remember first off that the watch isn’t even released yet and any problems or concerns they can pick up from the community about the UI of the watch will likely be investigated. But to be honest, I’m not sure they need to. When watching the keynote, Kevin Lynch, the dude giving the demo of the watch, explicitly demonstrates how the home screen works to overcome the size of the icons. When zoomed out enough so that the icons are too small to accurately select, the UI zooms into a “neighbourhood” of applications when you touch the screen. From there, the applications are sizeable enough that (it appears) even somebody with large fingers would be able to tap on a specific icon accurately and easily. Additionally, the crown can be used to open applications simply by zooming into them when on the home screen. I though this was a neat little feature especially for opening, say, the watch application from the home screen. Still speaking of zooming, I saw a number of people commenting saying that the crown isn’t needed because who wants to look at photos on their watch. I agree, who does? Nobody. It was a poor demonstration on Apple’s part to show the digital crown being used in this way, but at the same time Jony Ive is correct when he says that zooming into content is needed on a small screen. Going back to the maps, you really do need to be able to zoom in and out efficiently and easily, and the crown, I suspect, will work magnificently for this.
Now onto the design of the watch. The design, I agree isn’t perfect, and not everybody is going to love it. However, it does look splendid, in my opinion. The way that the screen curves around to meet the main body of the device, I think is really clever and really gives it an element of a screen that covers the whole device. I noticed in the UI as well, it’s mostly black so as to make a mostly seamless transition from the screen to the bezel/edge of the device. I personally think that the sport version of the watch is quite unattractive, but the other versions, in particular the space black stainless steel with either a classic buckle or link bracelet looks absolutely stunning. I also think that the sport version is where a lot of people are getting the idea it looks bad. If you look at a lot of the photos taken in person in the hands on room, it looks really nice.
Now, moving on from the Apple Watch, I’d like to talk about some of the dates that have been mentioned recently that have caught my attention.
Both Apple Pay and the continuity features of iOS 8 have been been explicitly said or rumoured to be made available in October. This, coincidentally, is exactly when Apple has previously been rumoured to be holding another event for the iPad and potentially some updates to the mac (if they have managed to do anything without the availability of the new processors from Intel). We haven’t heard anything recently about the October event, but I am still strongly in the belief that they will be holding an event within the next month and a half for the iPad. The way the features mentioned before happen to coincide with this event suggests that perhaps there is something that will tie these features together further, that will be announced at this event or maybe there will be just be solid release dates announced at the event.
The penultimate comment I’d like to make is about the Mac. We heard recently from intel that their very low power, next-gen chips which they say could be used for 2-in-1s or other fanless designs will be released by years end. This further makes me believe that apple may announce a new MacBook Air or something else at this event, however at the same time, I do understand that most reports have indicated next year for the 12-inch MacBook Air and all that jazz.
Finally, this isn’t even really a comment, I don’t even know what to call this. But I had one of my mates recently say to me, “Don’t get the iPhone 6+, it’s not an HD display!”… to which I was utterly bemused as to how an increase id PPI could lead to a lower definition display. He told me he’d read an article on FaceBook about it, to which I scoffed and passed off the comment. But it made me wonder. Maybe he was just getting confused, because the iPhone 6 has a lower PPI than the 6+ so the article said that the 6 was a “less HD display” or something along those lines, but anyway…
That’s about all I have to say. If you have any comments, agree or disagree with anything that I have mentioned, let me know. This is the first article that I have ever written so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.