Tag Archives: upgrade

iPhone 8 review, X pre-orders

Jason Snell mentioned on this week’s Upgrade that he had found a way to frame his iPhone 8 review, and today he posted it. Where most iPhone 8 reviews last month seemed overshadowed by the upcoming iPhone X, I think Jason’s review may have benefited from a little distance from the September Apple event.

It also reminded me about the missing headphone jack, which in the excitement of the pre-orders I had forgotten about. Sigh. From the review:

These upgraders also get to experience for the first time what the rest of us had to come to terms with a year ago: A one-way ticket to Dongletown, courtesy of a Lightning-to-headphone-jack adapter required by the removal of the headphone jack.

And on wireless charging, which I’m equally skeptical about:

Inductive charging is slower than USB charging, so if I’m trying to top up my battery before heading out, I’ll invariably prefer plugging in a Lightning cable. Dropping the phone on top of the small circle of the charging pad so that it’s properly aligned for the charge—the phone indicates that it’s charging and a small light appears on the charger base—is not really any less difficult in terms of mental focus than plugging in a Lightning cable.

As Daniel and I have discussed at several points on Core Intuition, I think Apple really gambled on splitting the product line between the 8 and X, and the pronunciation fumbles only add to the confusion and perception that the 8 isn’t a cutting-edge product. It’s at once the best phone in the world and old news.

It remains to be seen whether this split will impact sales. I’ll be watching for the quarterly results and Ben Thompson’s take.

Meanwhile, I’ve stuck to my first impression that it’s time for me to have a phone with the best cameras again. That means the iPhone X. I’ll miss the size of the iPhone SE, but now that my iPhone X pre-order is wrapped up, I’m looking forward to trying something new, and hoping that it captures a little of that first-generation iPhone feeling, when we knew we were holding a bit of the future.

iAd hypocrisy

I was looking for a different old post in my archives, and stumbled on this one: “I hope iAd fails”, which I wrote 5 years ago this month. One of my points was that we had a healthy marketplace in the App Store for normal people to actually pay for apps:

“Do we really want to give that marketplace up? Because once it’s gone, and iAds are the norm, it will be an uphill battle to get anyone to pay for anything.”

Fast-forward 5 years to today, and well, we’re on that hill right now. Except there’s a landslide and I don’t know who’s going to get buried.

On the Upgrade podcast, Jason Snell and Myke Hurley talked about whether iOS 9’s Apple News was relevant: what problems is it solving, if any, and — because it will feature unblockable ads powered by iAd — how does it fit into the larger issue of blocking web ads and closed platforms? The discussion starts about an hour in.

(If you’ve used Apple News already, you may not have even seen any ads yet. But Apple’s page on Apple News Format makes it clear that they will be encouraging iAd for publishers: “Monetization is made simple with iAd”.)

I stand by the opinion that iAd is a mistaken strategy. Apple, if you’re serious about this fight with Google, go all-in on the fight and abandon iAd. It seems hypocritical to attack web ads while rolling out your own news platform with ads that can’t be blocked.