Thoughts on Apple's iPhone X Announcement

After watching yesterday’s iPhone X announcement, a few things stuck out to me - some of these perhaps weren’t so obvious at first glance (at least from others I’ve talked to). In no particular order, I’ve listed a few thoughts below.

• In general, it looks like there’s a bit of work developers will need to do to update apps to support the iPhone X: Avoiding the notch in landscape mode, and aligning views to fill or avoid the bottom safe area are the main compatibility issues that stick out to me. Early adopters might need to wait several months before the majority of their apps pick up proper support for the iPhone X.

• The way Apple has handled the iPhone X status bar is really neat. It’s hard to compact an existing UI into a smaller amount of (horizontal) space, but the result looks great and overall it seems to make a lot of sense.

iPhone X Status Bar

• There’s a very definitive split between the iPhone X and other iPhones, that goes beyond mere features. The interface itself is quite different (e.g. the control centre gesture, home button interaction, and even how the dock background is rounded on the iPhone X). I’m not sure if this is good or bad - more just an observation.

• The reception to the Series 3 Apple Watch seemed a little lackluster, but I think this response could be underestimating its potential. The more I think of situations that I’d happily leave my phone at home (given a cellular watch), the more I realize this. Going to the gym, cycling, any form of exercise really. A quick trip to the shop, lunchtime walk, or a spontaneous trip to the movies. Sure, it doesn’t rival a phone for responding by any means, but it allows you a much greater degree of freedom, while allowing the ability to communicate with others should the need arise. Heck, it really could decrease smartphone usage a little, which wouldn’t be a bad thing given the amount of time we spend using our phones these days.

• The Series 1 Apple Watch received a reasonably significant price drop. A lot of people have mentioned price point to me as detractor from getting an Apple Watch - this certainly combats that front. Combining this with the last point makes me think that the Apple watch could very soon be an incredibly important part of Apple’s product lineup, and no longer the niche fashion accessory it began as.

• Apple certainly knows their audience; ‘Animoji’ are a great example of this. Animoji might seem a little gimmicky to a tech minded viewer, but to the average user, this feature is far more exciting than something like differential privacy or a new file system.

Fox Animoji

• The Face ID demo seemed to fail mid presentation, and the common takeaway seems to be that it was Face ID itself that failed. From what I could tell, Face ID didn’t fail; rather, the phone acted as if it had been rebooted, because it asked for the first-use passcode. If Apple is dropping Touch ID in favor of Face ID, I’d assume that it is at least as reliable, although that remains to be verified.