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iPhone SE – Apple Event Brief

This morning Apple held its last product announcement in the virtually historical Town Hall room at 1 Infinite Loop. The Event was teased the past few weeks as “Let Us Loop you In”…. disappointingly it had nothing to do with loops! Let us fill you in on the goings on.. particularly the new iPhone SE!

iYaks From Apple Event featuring the iPhone SE

iYaks now using 100% solar power!

Apple On The Environment & Health

After a cute 40 after 40 video showcasing some notable Apple items over it’s 40 years of incorporation, Tim Cook made some repeated comments on the FBI case. Soon though, he brought Lisa Jackson onto the stage to showcase Apples actually-pretty-impressive environmental chops.

93% off Apple infrastructures uses renewable energy; thanks to massive solar farms in the US and China, city buildings topped with solar panels, purchasing energy generated by renewables and simply building things more efficiently. A new program was introduced where you can take your old iPhones to the Apple store where they will send it for proper recycling by a new robotic fellow named Liam.

Tim touted some fantastic strides in medical research thanks to the ResearchKit framework, and introduced a new framework called CareKit. A practical application of which would be an enhancement of after-surgery care. A doctor would able to configure their app to help you take medications on time, check for symptoms, exercising properly and report back to them. Apples inroads into medicine has already made tangible advancements into Autism, Diabetes and Parkinsons, check out their page on it here.

Apple Watch & Apple TV

The Apple Watch has been given a price drop, now starting in Canada at $399. A new.. albeit ugly as bloody hell “Woven Nylon” band has been introduced.. and though it should be the cheap $20 option.. it’s still $69 bloody dollars.

iPhone SE event apple watch bands

I seriously threw up in my mouth a little…

The new Apple TV now has 5,000 apps available for it, and is receiving an update to tvOS. Couple nice new tricks are folders and diction.. username and password dictation as well! Live photos and iCloud Photo Library will be there as well.. download today.

iOS 9.3

After poking fun at the latest version of Android running on a depressing 2% of devices, Tim showed off an incremental iOS update, also available today, that will bring a kinda cool new feature.. night shift. Reducing blue light aids in sleep, so it will tint your device screen to warmer colours… trying it out tonight!

iPhone SE feature

Image courtesy of Mathew M, Jaxov

Apple news has got… never mind.. we’re Canadians and aren’t classy enough for such things. Some improvements in CarPlay will give you better Apple Music integration and nearby places in maps.

Notes got a big change though, you can password or fingerprint protect individual entries enabling many new unpleasant conversations starting with “Honey… WHY IS THIS NOTE PASSWORD PROTECTED??”.

iPad Pro Mini (Sort of)

Ok, so it doesn’t have the mini moniker, but it is 9.7″ instead of the behemoth 12.9″. The same size as an iPad Air, but packing even more impressive specs then it’s big brother. Both feature the 9X processor and 264 ppi screen, but the 9.7″ version features a wider colour gamut and a feature that reads ambient light, matching colour temperature and altering the display to be easier on the eyes.

It has a better camera, 12MP over 8MP with the same features as the iPhone 6.. including live photos. Video improvements abound, starting with 4k capture, 1080 60fps capture and improved image stabilization. The FaceTime camera has shot to 5MB from 1.2MB and brought in the retina flash feature.

Starting at $799 Canadian, both it and it’s 12.9″ sibling now have a 256GB option, $1,199 and $1,449 respectively. Pencil and Keyboard support are there as well.

iPhone SE – Smaller is Now Better.

Since the introduction of the larger iPhones, many folks have complained about them being too big; to the tune of 30 million smaller iPhones being sold last year. Those oodles of phones though have been the now ancient iPhone 5s, lacking in features and specs since it’s progeny have been introduced. That all changed today! The new iPhone SE as it will be known features the same industrial design as the 5s with a few tweaks. Now this has pissed off a few folks, people like Gizmodos seemingly anti-Apple pundit Kate Knibbs who bemoaned the model and lamented the fact we’ve all been had! DAMNIT, I LIKE SAMANTHA, KATE!

I think a new industrial design would have been nice, but I get the point and the economics. Now.. what about where it counts? Take an iPhone 6s and hit it with a dose of Pym particles.. remove a premium feature like 3D touch (you didn’t expect EVERYTHING did you?) and stuff the result into the body of an iPhone 5s.

We are talking a single-hand-use phone that packs a A9 processor, “Hey Siri” always on, better battery life then even the 6s, the same incredible 12MP camera also with 4k capture. Apple pay, improved wireless technologies, it’s is very feature strong phone! And the best part? It’s $579 Canadian compared to $899 for it’s larger cousin.

iPhone SE


I love my iPhone 6, its great.. but even with my big paws I still struggle to reach on screen to where I need to with one hand. I’m a firm believer in one-handed phones.. and though I’ll see what the iPhone 7 has in store, I would get an iPhone SE in a heartbeat. It would be a great phone for Deadpool on occasion as well…

iPhone SE

I bet the iPhone SE feels huge in that hand…

Gained Momentum In A New Direction

With today’s event, something more was evident; the future off Apple will not be dictated by the latest and greatest, the fastest most feature filled, the shiny, the tangible. Instead a new Apple is becoming increasingly apparent. A more thoughtful Apple. One that sees past the specs and shiny bits.

Look at what they are trying to have us notice.. big pushes in environment highlighting their efforts in using renewable energy, recycled packaging materials, efforts to recycle and manufacture with easily reusable materials. Their strides into medical research improving the lives of not only the vulnerable but everyone, showcasing a clear vision of future medical care that helps the entire human race. Their very risky and defiant stance against the FBI ensuring your privacy. Their constant reiteration of their ecosystem.

While other companies fall over themselves to have the marginally better specs than the competition, throwing spaghetti at the wall each month in an attempt to leash the next killer feature, Apple quit the spec war years ago.

They know they have won that.

Now that that war is over, it’s time to entrench and really make a difference. Ask yourself, is it more important to have the best camera (Good Job Samsung.. but not quite enough), fancy accessory slot, or some other wiz-bang feature… or can you look past the surface? I get asked all the time.. “Why do you obsess about Apple stuff so much?”

I find it very rewarding to service and own products that not only excel in quality and performance, but who’s creation and use impact the environment very little. A company who not only values my privacy but will take a stand against those who wish to violate it. I value a company who sees past their bottom line and creates products and services aimed at helping not only me, but humanity.

It makes me want to support them because they support us.

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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