Thursday , August 24 2017

So, yesterday Apple did something. Our only iPhone 6 / iWatch post.

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Look, we write about Android stuff here, and sometimes that strays into things Google’s doing within its on ecosystem, as well as things that are Chrome, and otherwise of interest. We tend not to write about Apple much. Ausdroid does Android, and there are plenty of other places that talk about tech generally, and that talk about Apple stuff only.

However, this little graphic, shown above, prepared by none other than Ron Amadeo from ArsTechnica, caught our attention and it seems worth mentioning if only because we’ve not said a word about the iPhone 6, and maybe we should acknowledge its existence.

On raw specs, the iPhone 6 really isn’t vastly different to the Nexus 4, released almost two years ago. In fact, in Ron’s graphic, the two are almost on par. Of course, there are things that the iPhone 6 does (and which the iPhone 5S did) which Android still hasn’t figured out, perhaps due to patents, perhaps due to other factors, such as Touch ID (Apple’s fingerprint technology which actually works really well), a super thin, sturdy and stylish design, and a pretty amazing camera. There’s also those built-in health features that many Android phones simply don’t have (though some do).

Comparing the iPhone 6 and the Nexus 4 is really a bit unfair, because though the paper specs can be shown to be similar, I think few would seriously contend that the iPhone 6 is the Nexus 4’s equal in terms of usability and quality. The Nexus 4, with its glass front and back, was easily broken, and it is significantly thicker than the iPhone 6.

They also announced a watch

In a surprise to no one, Apple announced an iWatch, which isn’t called an iWatch, just a Watch.

I’m sure there’ll be those who think it looks fantastic and offers everything a smartwatch should and more, but I think we need to be a little realistic here; it’s not the most attractive watch I’ve seen.

Android Wear devices aren’t either (or certainly haven’t been, to date), Pebble’s original Pebble and the later Pebble Steel aren’t gorgeous either, and while Samsung’s played with smartwatches for a while, they’re certainly reasonable but not great.

However, the instant love that Apple fans everywhere have shown for the Apple Watch is almost amazing. So quick to discard the Moto 360 (which has a fairly nice design, although it’s not to everyone’s taste), some have already talked themselves into buying a watch by saying all sorts of amazing, revolutionary, incredible things about it. Take Aaron Souppouris over at the Verge. He’s said things like:

  • “But while not conventionally attractive, it does achieve one extremely important goal: anonymity.”   …   because apparently a distinctive, thick, square slab of metal on your wrist is anonymous and appealing.
  • “The standard “Apple Watch collection” models will be available with a choice of two finishes, stainless steel or “Space Black” stainless steel, and with six different types of strap.” … because changing the band on a watch hasn’t been around for decades, and does nothing to change the actual appearance of a large, bulky, square watch with an off-centre crown.

My personal favourite:

“Whether fitted with leather strapping or metal links, a Moto 360 is a Moto 360. Changing the strap on a Pebble Steel is simply changing the strap, and nothing else. The Apple Watch’s customization is deeper. The proprietary system lets straps come with their own lugs (the small pieces of metal that connect a watch’s case to its strap), and these lugs are individually tailored to match both the strap and the finish of the watch.”

THE LUGS. Oh my god, you can change the lugs. No longer content with just changing the bands, you can now change the little pieces of metal that the bands connect to, as well. This is game changing! This is revolutionary!

… except that it isn’t. Whether you change the lugs, or change the bands, an Apple Watch is still an Apple Watch. It’s still the same shape, size, distinctive design that people will see and recognise as an Apple Watch. The same as a Moto 360 stays a Moto 360 with a different band on.

These Apple news sites have to try better.

But, we digress. The Apple Watch has some nifty features too, including built-in NFC to work with Apple’s upcoming Apple Pay service. A neat, if not curious, inclusion for a watch to be sure.

Will the Apple Watch sell by the boatload? Yes, probably it will.

The Wrap

I think I’ve said enough. I didn’t pay much attention to Apple’s news yesterday, and I probably won’t for some time. Am I an Apple hater? Most certainly not. I use only Apple computers at home and in the Ausdroid office, and our server (in the office, not our web server) is an Apple as well. However, I do like to poke a little fun at Apple when I can, just as Apple users like to poke fun at Android from time to time as well.

So, that said, leave your hate-filled comments (in either direction) at the door, but if you’ve got some discussion you’d like to have about the relative merits, please feel free.

 

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

When not writing for Ausdroid, Chris is busy working away at his career within the NSW Department of Justice.

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21 Comments on "So, yesterday Apple did something. Our only iPhone 6 / iWatch post."

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Member

I’m glad that Apple has finally bitten the bullet and realised the need to include NFC, because now it will finally have reason to become more widely used.

Also, if Australian banks implement Apple’s Tap & Pay before supporting Android NFC payments on phones other than the GS4, then I will be quite annoyed.

Member
Luke Vesty

They definitely will. Absolutely 100% guarantee. I’ll bet my house on it.

And then the Apple crowd will be all “well my iPhone has a new special wireless payment thingy. Can your Android do that?” And despite having had NFC functionality for literally years, non-Samsung Android users will begrudgingly reply *sigh* “no, but…” *fiery rant*.

My blood is boiling even thinking about this inevitable day.

Peter Wells
Ausdroid Contributor
I didn’t see anything revolutionary in iPhone from Apple yesterday, but I havent seen anything revolutionary from Samsung, HTC, LG, or Oppo in the phone space in the last year either. It’s the sign of a mature market. One thing you might want to mention as a reason for Android fans to pay attention to the iPhone cycle is for the carrier deals. You’ve linked to deals from Optus, Virgin and Vodafone in the last few days – it’s no coincidence that most carriers deals start on the day the iPhone goes on sale. (ps. I used and love iOS… Read more »
Gricho
Valued Guest
Gricho

Hah, sure you do Pete. Loved the ‘Tech Site’ reference.

Travis
Valued Guest
Travis
I just wonder where Apple is going with the emphasis placed on fashion iterations rather than technical innovation. Lest any Apple fan write me off as a Google or Android phanboi I’ve contributed my fair share of dollars to Apple and continue to use their iPad, iMac and will probably purchase a Macbook Air in the near future. I’m not even going to try and list the iPhones and iPods I’ve owned over the years. Ever since Jobs died the true technical innovation has simply been absent. When the first iPhone and iPod came out they were truly revolutionary and… Read more »
Member

Hopefully Google get their s**t together now and bring us Aussies NFC payment via Google Wallet.

Member

I think this makes it far more likely that Android users will be able to use NFC payments in Australia. There’s no reason to make it Apple-only when all the infrastructure is in place and Google has had deals with Visa, Mastercard and AmEx in the US since 2012.

Member

3 months on and nothing yet…

Member

Maybe I don’t have to upgrade my N4 after all, since it’s still considered “current”. 🙂 On a serious note, it still feels as snappy as ever, and touch wood, both glass surfaces are still unharmed. While I technically don’t have to upgrade yet, I miss that new phone feeling. :p

Pete
Valued Guest
Pete

I broke the back of my Nexus 4. It’s just a sheet of adhesive plastic, not glass. Cost me $100 to get replaced but I’ve since discovered you can get it replaced a lot cheaper than that.

Member

I like the comparison sheet, most amusing.
I am most intherested to seeing how long it takes for apple pay to make it to Aus and how the banks respond… also hope that with NFC on the iphone we might see, say the public transport companies implement “tap to pay” so i can ride the bus and trains using my smartphone.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
In your references to differences between the iphone and the Nexus 4 you missed out on the key differentiator – price. The iphone is $869 / 16GB. The Nexus 4, at launch was $399 for 16GB and over a year ago had fallen to $299 before being superseded. A don’t know about you, but I don’t think 2mm thinner (but longer) is worth over DOUBLE the price – in anybody’s book. Frankly, this was an embarrassing launch for apple. Their catch-up iphone and iphablet failed to catch-up and their watch was square when everyone else had gone round. I have… Read more »
kjmci
Valued Guest
kjmci

“No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

Also, Apple’s share price ALWAYS drops after the announcement, and then surges well past what it was beforehand. It’s a known phenomenon 🙂

Damien Xenos
Valued Guest
Damien Xenos

My guess is to improve battery life. I think that there is no need to go above full HD after about a 5 inch screen and below this would be ok.
I wish Android phones started looking at battery life over screen resolution. I think 2 days full use without recharge should be the goal.

geoff fieldew
Valued Guest
It takes some effort to put aside “emotional connections” to platform A or B. But when you do that you can enjoy the benefits of both. For about 4 or 5 months I’ve been carrying an iPhone 5C in one pocket and a Nexus 5 in the other. I like both of them. They each do some things better than the other. I laugh when outlandish statements are made by people who have likely only used one of the 2 platforms. It doesn’t phase me too much because I know what’s true about both platforms. They are both very good… Read more »
Member

“For about 4 or 5 months I’ve been carrying an iPhone 5C in one pocket and a Nexus 5 in the other. I like both of them. They each do some things better than the other.”

So I’m not the only one… I have an iPhone from work, but really prefer Android, hence I have one for personal use. But you’re right, they both work well; some things just work better on one system, others on the other.

Will Dutton
Valued Guest
Will Dutton

I really like the angle you used in this story. Yeah apple make nice stuff, I use some of it too and love it, I’m also kind of in the specs don’t matter so much camp with Apple as they get to optimise so much more for their devices. having said that some of the positivity floating around in their friendly press is just annoying so it’s nice to see a more balanced view from the Android press.

TheDeviant
Valued Guest
TheDeviant

Diesel Black Gold takes on Samsung’s new Gear S. Google that Sh!t.

Chris
Valued Guest

That’s the ugliest design I’ve seen since Fossil.

PuGZoR
Valued Guest
PuGZoR

I felt let down by the reveal yesterday. Apple was, for a while, a key innovator in the industry. Now they are just following to a large degree. I don’t care what brand or operating system everyone runs on but having as many innovators as possible drives the whole device type ahead.

Member

No doubt Apple will sue anyone who uses the the word “Watch” in their advertizing. Watch out Casio and the like for the lawyers letters..

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