iPhone 7 – taking the plunge?

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I missed yesterday’s Apple Event as it was streamed, but followed it via the liveblog from the Verge and sporadic tweets, all the time on a slow-moving train from Nottingham to London.

There weren’t too may surprises (Mario aside) and the phone and watch announcements were as expected. Yes to new black colours, yes to water-protection and no to inclusion of a traditional audio jack. Harrumph. It’s digital or bluetooth from now on, folks.

While I was impressed with the new iPhone 7 Plus, I was initially so annoyed by the the change to the headphone jack that I dismissed all thoughts of upgrading. I was a lot more interested in what the Series 2 Apple Watch has to offer. (The ability to wear it in water, for a start!)

The inevitable

But here we are, 24 hours later, and I’ve read a lot more about it and listened to a few podcasts. And I’m leaning towards getting one. Before you descend on me with an overpowering torrent of “I told you so!”, hear me out…

Here’s what I think the iPhone 7 Plus has going for it:

  1. Better battery life, which you can never ignore. I’m never happier than when I have some fully-charged gadgets about my person and never more anxious than when I’m down on single-digit battery notifications.

  2. A superb camera, which is something quite important to me. I’m not a photography buff, but I use the hell out of my smartphone cameras. The advances included in the 7 Plus are quite something.

  3. More memory, which I fetishise quite a lot. I’m opting for the 256GB model, as the volume of music and videos I carry around is fairly significant. I will never fill it, but that’s the point.

  4. It’s water-proof, (or thereabouts) so I don’t have to live in fear of its destruction every time I enter a bathroom with it. You know you do too, so don’t be so judgemental…

And yet

On the flipside, the need to use either the bundled earbuds (bleurgh) or something bluetooth has me far from impressed. I’ve never been able to use Apple earbuds – they continually fall out of my ears and cause pain after even short periods of use.

The bluetooth airpods Apple announced look laughable. I’m as geeky as the next guy (geekier, if I’m honest) but I could never imagine myself walking London’s streets with those things hanging out of my ears. Public humiliation aside, they look insanely easy to lose and of course, represent just one more thing that needs charging.

apple-airpods

That said, I’m confident some third-party vendors will release some appropriately designed and suitably affordable alternatives. I’ll just need to use Apple’s ear buds for a while, or keep using my Bose earphones and the disgusting dongle Apple are packaging with the new phones.

Although it’s good to know I’m not the only one with strong views on these ear-monsters, as evidenced by this tweet e xchange I had with Jeff Jarvis:

But wait, there’s more

Unless I have a real change of heart overnight, I’ll also be getting myself a new Apple Watch. I’m opting for the space grey model again, as I like the one I have. But a faster, waterproof model with built-in GPS is too hard to resist.

I used my Nexus 6P and Pebble Time in combination for weeks and loved it. But the Pebble pales in comparison with the new Apple Watch. The above purchases will be in-part funded by the sale of my Nexus 6P, Pebble watch and existing iPhone 6s Plus.

This means, a little sadly, an end to my Android experiment. I’m still using Google Apps for business and personal use, but I’ve come to the conclusion (with some gentle…ahem…”encouragement” from @FrankDJS) that life is simpler with Apple, macOS and iOS.

I’m taking this as a sign of my inevitable age-related decline. Going with the path of least-tech-resistance.

Now. Let the inevitable mocking begin. Go on, do your worst…

  1. Well, if I had the financial clout to flip-flop between Apple / Android like you do, I’d probably be doing the same too! So no abuse from me!

    Coincidentally I’m due an upgrade from Three this month. I made out a spreadsheet to see if it’s worth while staying on the plan I’m on (including getting the handset from them), or buying the phone outright. I have to wait for Three to announce their prices before I can so an accurate comparison. I’ll going to get the 7 Plus Black (not Jet black – looks plasticky and scratchy) as I’ll definitely make use of the camera, and I’ll go for the 128MB version. Years of existing on 16GB has taught me how to be frugal when it comes to memory consumption.
    Seems like Apple’s trade-up program will offer me €225 for my current 6, so that will take some of the sting out of it. I’ll have to slip back to my old 5 as a handset to use while that sub-project is in progress to get the best value.

    Watch – I’ll definitely stay on the One and enjoy the benefits of watchOS 3.

    AirPods – not a chance! Apple Earpods fall out of my ears all the time, and are really uncomfortable. I love my Jaybird X2s, so I’ll be sticking with those for a while longer.

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  2. It’s not for us to criticise how you spend your hard-earned money! Suffice to say, you must be Apple’s dream customer! I could never justify upgrading kit and flip-flopping the way you do! My wife would soon put a stop to that!

    Having purchased (very largely on your recommendation) an iPhone 6S Plus twelve months ago, it would have taken a major design change to cause me to switch so soon. There’s nowhere near enough to persuade me. Most of the benefits will come from iOS10. I can cope with recharging every night, the current excellent camera and taking care when I go to the toilet! It’s also a good discipline to use a late night return train journey (I know the Nottingham – St. Pancras line well!) to delete some of those near identical duplicated photos that clog up memory.

    The earpiece absence is the major deterrent. I couldn’t go for a run with chunky Bluetooth headphones or risk losing an AirPod out on the moor, plus I use the Aux socket in my campervan to play music from my iPhone using the headphone socket. There’s no Bluetooth.

    The new Series 2 Apple Watch may have enough to tempt me. I swim a couple of times a week and the GPS could be ideal whilst out trekking in the Yorkshire Dales. I can cope with it neededing my iPhone to do most other things as that is always with me (except in the swimming pool itself!)

    I’ve resigned myself to upgrading my iPad 2 as it won’t be getting the new iOS. To be fair, I largely use my iPhone 6S Plus for most things but it’s still a bit too small and fiddly for serious stuff.

    Keep us posted. We all love your dilemmas – even if we envy them!

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    1. I hear you – there’s no way I’ll be a) buying or b) attempting any running using Air Pods. They look far too delicate and loose in the ear. Impractical. GPS on the watch is going to be great, as is its new water-proof status.

      And yes, I’m possibly Apple’s dream customer. I’ve been an Apple customer since the Bondi Blue iMac and, blips aside (ahem), I’ve been pretty loyal. Not out of love for the brand per se, but because it works for me.

      If you do upgrade your iPad 2, expect a massive step change in terms of speed and responsiveness. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

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