Vox has a piece outlining some of the changes that are coming with the next iPhone. A lot of it is unimpressive and that I don’t care all that much about. Some of it is kind of cool.

I do think it’ll be great to have more interoperability between Macs and iPhones, which is something that I will probably never have since my phone OS and computer OS are done by different people.

I definitely applaud this move:

The onscreen keyboard on original iPhone was a breakthrough, but in the last seven years Apple’s competitors have come up with innovations of their own. iOS 8 makes two major changes that Apple hopes will help Apple regain the keyboard lead. First, a new technology called QuickType attempts to guess which word the user will type next and allow her to select it with one tap. The technology learns the user’s typing style, even customizing the selections depending on who she is talking to.

Users who aren’t satisfied with the iOS keyboard will have the option to ditch it altogether. For the first time, iOS will support third-party keyboards.

This is, of course, old hat for Android users (except the part about customizing depending on who you are talking to. But considering that I criticize Apple products for their unwillingness to let third-party devices on, I should applaud them when they become willing.

At this point, I am actually still using the default Samsung keyboard. They finally got it right. Before upgrading to my current phone, I bounced around a bit from SwiftKey and TouchPal. The frustrating thing is that while all of these keyboards are capable, I have yet to find one that I am really comfortable with, despite having no physical keyboard for quite a while now. I had genuinely expected that I would get settled in. Which I might have, if I’d just stick to one. Which is an advantage to what has historically been Apple’s approach.

Apple is getting some criticism for getting rid of the audio jack:

The tech giant is said to be considering doing away with the headphone jack when the iPhone 6 comes out this summer — and the rumors have even die-hard Apple customers wondering if it’s time to iTune out.
“I have a pair of Beats headphones that cost hundreds of dollars,” griped David Fu, 24, outside the Apple Store on 14th St. “They would really piss off a lot of people if we couldn’t use headphones like that anymore.”

The iEverything faithful are still sore from two years ago, when Apple replaced its 30-pin input on iPhones with a smaller Lightning connector.

Suddenly all those expensive charging units, external speakers and docking stations didn’t work with the new iPhone — unless customers bought a $30 adapter.

With regard to the chargers, Apple would be more vulnerable to criticism if they did it more regularly. But technology changes, and improves, and it’s perfectly reasonable to change charger standards every now and again.

I also think that some of the criticism about the headphone jack is probably misplaced. Apple people are obsessed with space-economical design and the headphone jack takes up space. With the right adapter, it’s usually going to be a non-issue. Keep the adapter more-or-less attached to the headphones (most people aren’t going to use the headphones for much else. Maybe have another adapter for the car, which could actually be more convenient for some people if they are able to plug their car into power and audio with a single click.

Some of my old HTC phones didn’t have separate headphone jacks. I was excited when I finally did, but as I put my phone on the dash of my car and plug it in I realized – long before hearing about Apple’s intentions – that the process would be one step shorter with a dual jack.


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4 Responses to In Which I Promote Apple Products

  1. Vikram Bath says:

    I remember my Palm Centro had a 2.5mm headphone jack (instead of the 3.5mm). I didn’t mind that it was non-standard so much as it isn’t easy to find headphones with that size. Yes, adapters are available, but they are an ugly solution, and when you yank on the cord, you don’t know whether the adapter will stay with the phone or come out with the headphones.

    If the new iPhone comes with compatible headphones, I’ll be happy. As I’ve noted, the earPods are crazily convenient, and I personally find them really comfortable.

    Regarding keyboards, funnily predictive type is something that is old for iOS too…if you are typing in Mandarin. The better Bath types Mandarin on her iPad by typing on an English keyboard, and it guesses what she is trying to say. When it guesses correctly, she just selects it. It seems to work fairly well for her.

    • Trumwill says:

      I imagine it will. The only problem, if there is a problem, comes with the use of cables for specifics kinds of headphones. That’s when you would need an adapter. In my case, it would mean for the car and for the noise-cancelling headphones I use when mowing the lawn and on planes.

  2. I also think that some of the criticism about the headphone jack is probably misplaced

    I suspect that Apple thinks they’ll get away with it because most of their users are only using the supplied headphones in lieu of models from other brands. The problem is that it’s going to anger the users that don’t want the supplied headphones whether it’s for security reasons (white headphones still scream iPhone even with other makers using them), or if they want better quality headphones whether for audio or fitment reasons. I can tolerate the switch from the 30pin connector to Lightning, but not this. Hell, this takes away functionality as one wouldn’t be able to charge the phone AND listen to music.

    • trumwill says:

      Do you use your preferred headphones with anything else? If not, it’s mostly just a matter of keeping the adapter as an extension of the headphones. I’m also sure there will be a dual-head adapter that will allow you to listen and charge simultaneously. If not, I agree that there’s a serious problem.

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