It’s happened. Last night was Apple’s Live Event 2014, the most anticipated Apple event for some time. And to say it didn’t disappoint would be somewhat controversial — I mean, yes Apple unveiled some great new technology, some exceptionally crafted, and well manufactured products, but we expected all of them. The hype was so great, so big — everyone really wanted to believe they were going to wow the world and deliver us something that we weren’t expecting. But they didn’t. All of the leaks over the past year or so, the rumours, the obsession of the media with what secrets Apple were hiding — we kind of all knew before they were “revealed”.
To make it even worse, the way it was delivered was awful. Apple only let viewers watch their live streams through their own software, Safari. Nice touch, kind of. The stream was awful last night, really awful. Laggy, when it worked — for the first half an hour, we couldn’t really watch anything — the feed kept cutting, there was a Mandarin translator dubbed over the top of the sound. One of my favourite tweets last night came from Aubrey Johnson:
This is like if Santa’s beard fell off.
— Aubrey Johnson (@aub) September 9, 2014
That’s how it felt. Anyway, in fear of writing the longest blog post of all time, I’m going to try and rifle through my opinions on the rest of what we were fed last night. I’ll probably end up writing a few follow up posts on this topic over the next few days… Stay tuned.
Firstly, the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Wow. Beautifully designed, and crafted blah blah blah. It’s Apple, we expect that. But I was really disappointed. I currently have a 4s, and I didn’t upgrade to the 5 at the time, simply because I didn’t need to. It doesn’t give me anything extra that I need (with the exception of 4G). It’s too big. The 5 was a little too big for me, let alone the 6, LET ALONE the 6 Plus. It’s massive! I have an iPad, why do I need a phone that I can’t fit comfortable into my pocket? They’ve had to massively compromise on the user experience, designing a new “one hand” mode — because it’s impossible to reach the other side of the phone whilst you’re holding in just one hand. I can’t wait to have a go of one, and see if it’s able to change my mind. Disappointed.
The Apple Watch — inevitably coming, (inevitably?) disappointing. The biggest challenge Apple faced introducing a watch, and the reason I was most excited about this unveil — is the fact that a watch is a fashion item, probably more than it is an actual tool in this day and age. With the Apple Watch, the company is aiming to make it useful again. I don’t think it will be as big as they are hoping in it’s first generation. It’s too big, too clunky — it’s square. I already can’t wait to see what they do with it next, and I am looking forward to designing for it. However, I won’t be purchasing one — I wouldn’t even like to be seen wearing one. They talked about customisation, but being Apple — I guarantee we won’t be able to customise it to the extent we’d like. Maybe there will be Watch ‘apps’ where we can download watch faces from third party designers etc. Who knows, but personally, I’d like the option of designing my own interface — maybe that’s a bit too android for Apple.
A quick thought on Apple Pay — interesting, only available in the States — being Apple they will probably succeed. They’ve been behind on payment systems for a while now in the US, whilst here in the UK it seems like forever that we’ve had contactless payments with our cards. To summarise my thoughts on Apple Pay — I hope they topple PayPal, some competition would be fantastic and hopefully help drive down the ridiculous fees PayPal currently have in place on payments and transfers.
My final discussion point is the all new Apple.com website. Already under a lot of fire from designers and developers around the world, due to it’s limited responsiveness — and some design issues, particularly leading and kerning with the typography. But overall, I quite like it. Super clean, minimal and showcases their products with some gorgeous CGI shots. Yeah it could do with some fine tuning, and perhaps being one of the worlds leading brands — it should have be rolled out as perfect, but either way, it’s inspired me in my work. Nice one, Apple.