Dr. Mac says: ‘The Coolest Thing Apple Announced Last Week Was…’

| Dr. Mac's Rants and Raves

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #141

 

The theme for Apple’s event in San Francisco last week was, “The only thing that has changed is everything.” It sounds like marketing hype, but by the end of the event most of the audience (including me) seemed to agree.

You’ve surely heard about the announcements: a collection of Apple Watches from Hermés; new Apple Watch bands and case colors (gold and rose gold aluminum); Apple TV; iPad Pro with optional accessories Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard; and iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

I’ve now had a few days to mull things over and I give the show an 85 (out of 100) overall. It wasn’t the best Apple event I’ve ever seen, but it was solid and far from the worst. If you’ve got two hours and twenty minutes to spare, the complete video — including the three songs performed by One Republic at the end — is available at http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2015/.

For me, the most significant and compelling thing I saw in those 2 hours was 3D Touch, the new technology that, for the first time, allows an iPhone (specifically, an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus) to sense how hard you’re pressing. (That “new” part came from Apple; it sounds like Force Touch on the Apple Watch to me. But I digress...) It not only enables new ways to access shortcuts and app features, it also introduces new ways to interact with content.  

It’s very cool and you can use it almost everywhere — on your Home screens and within many apps. In many apps, 3D Touch lets you peek at content by pressing lightly, or interact further — by launching the app or filling the screen with content — if you press harder.

One of my favorite examples involves the Camera app. Before the new iPhones, if you wanted to take a selfie, you’d tap the Camera app and wait for it to open, then tap the Switch to QuickTime Camera icon and wait for it to switch. I can’t tell you how many great shots I’ve missed while waiting and switching.

With 3D Touch, you can choose what the Camera will do when it opens — Take a Selfie, Record Video, Record Slo-Mo, or Take a Photo — before it opens. Just press on the Camera icon and select from the pop-up menu:

Choose a shortcut and the Camera app launches in that mode for immediate shooting.

Speaking of the Camera app, the ones in the new iPhones are better, but we expected that. What was totally unexpected, at least for me, was Live Photos. When you press on a Live Photo you’ve shot, it plays back a few seconds immediately before and after the shot, giving you a brief video-like memory instead of a single moment frozen in time. As you might expect, Apple’s examples of Live Photos during the event were stunning.

Tune in next week for my impressions of the new Apple TV, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard, and what (if anything) about them is cool.  

And that’s all he wrote…

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Comments

mrmwebmax

+

@Dr. Bob,

For me, the most significant and compelling thing I saw in those 2 hours was 3D Touch, the new technology that, for the first time, allows an iPhone (specifically, an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus) to sense how hard you’re pressing. (That “new” part came from Apple; it sounds like Force Touch on the Apple Watch to me. But I digress…)

Having neither an Apple Watch nor iPhone 6s, I could be mistaken, but as I understand it, Force Tough on the Apple Watch is binary: It’s either a tap or a Force Touch. Aren’t there three levels of touch on the new iPhone 6s models: tap, Peek, and Pop? I’d think that would justify calling it new and also calling it 3D, as it’s truly 3 different dimensions of touch.

Bob LeVitus

Hmmmm. Good point if that’s how it works. I don’t have an iPhone 6s yet, either, so I can neither confirm nor deny. We’ll see.

R.A.W.

@Dr Bob

  I think it is a stretch calling it new, mainly because on stage when Craig F called it force touch he immediately blushed and corrected himself and moved on. That told me internally it was probably force touch up until recently when they realized it doesn’t look good to put “old” technology in their new baby.


But, it is definitely more dimensional than force touch on Apple Watch, Apple Watch there is just tap or force touch, with the iPhone 6s’s 3D Touch like mrmwebmax said there are levels lightly force touch you preview press harder or hold and you “pop” to the content you previewed.  So in that sense it is new. 3D Force Touch would have been most appropriate in my opinion.

Nick Sharratt

The APIs announced at WWDC for ‘force touch’ (now apparently renamed) for the Apple Air trackpad allows applications to detect many levels of how hard the push is (can’t recall if it is 128 or 255 levels but it’s way more than binary or trinary. However, how apps and the OS interpret what those levels correspond to and convert that to a user experience is explained by Apple in the sessions from WWDC to make sense to have only a few levels and there are ways for apps to do exactly that. So touch, press and push are trigger levels in a much more continuous range of pressure that can be detected but apps can read the actual pressure of that’s useful instead.

Bob LeVitus

Well, regardless of whether it’s “new” or merely “kinda new,” it’s very cool and I can’t wait to have it on MY iPhone.

BuzzMega

Nobody noticed?

“It wasn’t the best Apple event I’ve ever seen, but it solid and far from the worst.”

Should have been past tense. “...it solided…”

Blissmonkey

” . . . it solided . .  .” is actually not correct.

Should be, “it was solid . . . “.

Bob LeVitus

Typo. Oops. Fixed. (“it WAS solid…”)

BuzzMega

Just to be clear, I consider typos to be a minor form of amusement. I speak in what I call “verbo-graphical errors”  and I am constantly having to wrangle my keyboard away from all those stupid mistakes it makes on my behalf.

I apologize profusely for having confused you with my simple comedic attempt to turn a typographical error into a mistake of tense rather than it’s being a simple omission.

I promise that I will never again in my entire life make such a mistake,  nor be confusing to another fellow reader.

Just kidding.

Blissmonkey

Buzz,

Haha! That’s cool!  smile

I teach different levels of English to international students, so your comment is something I get so used to correcting that I miss the potential humour in stuff like that.

#tryingtobehelpful

Bob LeVitus

I thought it was funny.

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