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#369317 - 12/09/2017 18:26 new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition)
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3684
In no particular order:

- 4K Apple TV (with HDR support, and a bunch of games, so Apple is going after the game console market, I guess)

- 3rd generation Apple watch, now with optional cellular (and it can receive calls with "the same number as your iPhone", which sounds like an interesting trick with call forwarding)

iPhone 8 / 8 Plus:
- six cores (2 fast, 4 slow), 4 billion transistors (!)
- glass on both sides, custom aluminum alloy
- color calibrated, HDR display
- 12MP camera, supposedly lower noise, etc., as well as 4K/60Hz or 1080p/240Hz slow-motion
- separate camera(s) for augmented reality (stereo vision, etc.) on the "Plus" model
- wireless charging (using the Qi standard, not something proprietary!) -- curious because all the Android vendors seem to have abandoned this

iPhone X:
- full edge-to-edge front screen (like the Essential phone)
- high res screen, but not even close to the highest Android devices
- dual 12MP cameras, with different apertures (same as the iPhone 8 Plus, not sure about the iPhone 8)
- supposedly more accurate colors than "traditional OLEDs" -- sounds like they just ran a color calibrator
- no more home button (just like Android!), now they use face recognition (as Android once did, but was considered insecure, easily spoofed with photographs, supposedly better now that they've got multiple front-facing cameras so they can sense depth, plus an IR emitter/receiver combo)
- and a custom "neural" co-processor for machine learning stuff

The security story here, versus fingerprint sensors, is a bit odd. They're throwing a huge amount of horsepower and technology at a problem where the modern Android solution (bigger fingerprint sensor on the back) seems simpler and more reliable. Apparently the real driving force here is being able to do face tracking, and thus map your face onto a character in virtual / augmented reality.

The value premium for the edge-to-edge screen seems dicey. When you see people with iPhones, they always, always have them in some sort of case. Those cases cover the unused parts of the bezel. To put an iPhone X in a case, the case will have to be that much bigger, since it has less of the phone to hang onto.

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#369318 - 12/09/2017 18:58 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1365
Loc: MA but Irish born
As long as it drives down the price on the second hand market, I'll be happy.

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#369319 - 12/09/2017 20:12 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2533
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
With regards to the Apple X: I've been using iPhones for 6 years now, several different generation, but this is the first time I'm thinking: I wonder what the Google Pixel 2 will be?

I'm thinking Apple has surpassed a psychological boundary here with the price (higher than 1000 euro in Europe)

The screen looks nice, but as Dan said, several high-end Android devices already do a lot better. I also don't care for the FaceID technology a lot. Looks to me like a solution to an invented problem, because TouchID already works good, fast and reliable for me. I would be very surprised if FaceID would be faster than TouchID, especially since you have to look at it for it to work. When I now take my phone from my pocked, I already unlock it with my fingerprint while doing so. By the time I'm facing my phone, it's already unlocked.
I also don't really care for the way FaceID will provide Apple with a passport photo, heck even a 3D scan of my face. They claim the image data remains on the phone, but I remain very skeptical when it comes to stuff like this.

My conclusion is, it's a nice phone, but not revolutionary in any way (well, except for its price maybe). Everything it does has already been done by older phones:

* OLED screen -> Nokia (N85)
* Bezel-less screen -> Sharp (arquos)
* Glass backside -> Samsung
* Wireless charging -> Nokia (820/920)/ Google/LG (Nexus 4) (about the same time (september/ october 2012)
* Facial recognition -> Microsoft (950/ 950XL)

_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#369322 - 12/09/2017 22:53 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11933
Loc: Sterling, VA
I wrote down my thoughts as I read the Engadget live blog. I was mostly positive about the announcements today:

First event at Steve Jobs theater! Nice words said about him.

I wasn't aware the spaceship was run on renewable energy! Very cool. Does anyone know if this is direct or partially through credits? I assume direct.

Sorry, Apple retail stores are not town squares.

Glad the retail stuff was short. I like when these things move along at a good pace. I like that they're not focusing on numbers. Making it more about people.

Watch:

Really interested in this heart study stuff. Should get some good data. I wonder about the privacy aspects, though. Lots of nice improvements! Faster, more power efficient, nice new features. Happy that there's non-LTE models. I get the use case, but I'm not a runner and I always have my phone on me.

AppleTV:

4K HDR, very nice! Seems really powerful. Thinking about finally getting this.

iPhone 8:

For the most part, the usual incremental upgrades, but of course still a great phone. User-facing advances are more software. The AR stuff is pretty awesome.

Ooo, one hardware bit is the wireless charging. Surprised Apple decided to go with the wider standard of Qi. Great news for me, since I already have a bunch of Qi stuff (this is where the grump in me points out that Qi has been around for years now).

Very happy that 64GB is the minimum now. That's fantastic. All I've needed for the past few years is 64GB.

iPhone X!

Very attractive! But very expensive. I'm extremely wary of the Face ID stuff, just from a UX standpoint. Having to be face-front to the phone doesn't sound pleasant in all situations. Did they not want to mimic the rear touch sensor or something?

Also, I swear if I'm sitting behind someone and get a flash of light in my face because they're unlocking their phone, I'm going to be super pissed. That part makes it really seem like a clunky design. I'm pretty surprised about that.

Overall, the hardware they announced was really nice. The X is cool, but I have reservations. I'll wait and see what users/reviewers say about it.
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Matt

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#369323 - 12/09/2017 23:10 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
sn00p
addict

Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 600
Loc: South London
Can't wait to see people trying to use contactless with faceid on the tube.

It can be a big enough pain using touchid when it's busy.

Not entirely convinced about how easy it will be generally for payments, I could be way off, but it just doesn't seem as convenient as your finger.

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#369325 - 13/09/2017 00:29 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30784
Loc: Seattle, WA
Like many, I have all sorts of questions about the face recognition. How secure/reliable is it compared to a fingerprint sensor? Could someone sculpt a simulacrum of me that could unlock the phone, more easily than they could sculpt a fingerprint? My guess is that it'll be harder to fake a face than to fake a fingerprint.

If it's actually more secure than a fingerprint sensor, then I think it's very cool and very forward-thinking. As opposed to the implication that Apple simply couldn't source the necessary components for an on-the-touchscreen fingerprint sensor and fell back to face recognition at the last minute. From what I'm seeing, that's not the case, based on how sophisticated the system is.

I wonder if face recognition will actually turn out better for privacy. For example, if you are unconscious, someone could unlock your phone by placing your finger on it, but face recognition won't work if your eyes are closed. You could refuse to unlock your phone for someone simply by closing one or both eyes (and if they pry your eyes open, their hands would be in the way, thwarting the recognition).

There's more interesting discussion in the verge article, but I'm fascinated that someone is going to try sculpting a fake face to thwart it and post their results on youtube. Looking forward to that amusement. The verge article also points out that face recognition systems are historically racially biased, so I'm curious how that turns out in the long run. It's a hard problem to solve and I'm really interested if Apple successfully did.
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Tony Fabris

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#369327 - 13/09/2017 00:57 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11933
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
My guess is that it'll be harder to fake a face than to fake a fingerprint.

I would imagine so! Too bad Mythbusters isn't around anymore.

Originally Posted By: tfabris
If it's actually more secure than a fingerprint sensor...

I'm sure it will be, but I worry it'll be at the expense of convenience. When we moved from number/pattern unlocks to fingerprints, it reduced unlock time significantly. When you consider the hundred times a day we unlock our phones, and all the different ways we do it, I'll be very interested to see if the process is more annoying.

Originally Posted By: tfabris
I wonder if face recognition will actually turn out better for privacy.

For example, if you are unconscious, someone could unlock your phone by placing your finger on it, but face recognition won't work if your eyes are closed.

Aw, but that would ruin that scene in the Big Sick...


I'm still curious about that flash of light you get in low light situations. What does that look like? How annoying is that going to be to people around you? People are already insensitive about their phones and how they affect the people around them...
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Matt

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#369328 - 13/09/2017 11:37 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: Dignan]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1457
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I'm sure it will be, but I worry it'll be at the expense of convenience. When we moved from number/pattern unlocks to fingerprints, it reduced unlock time significantly. When you consider the hundred times a day we unlock our phones, and all the different ways we do it, I'll be very interested to see if the process is more annoying.

I tried facial recognition (and retina scan) for a few days before just going back to straight fingerprint scan. My phone is unlocked by the time I bring it into view with the fingerprint, but with the others there was some dorking around with getting the camera at just the right distance and angle, which just made it annoying.

I'm sure it would have gotten better with more practice, but fingerprint is quite a bit quicker, and less obnoxious.

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#369330 - 13/09/2017 18:15 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
sn00p
addict

Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 600
Loc: South London
I just assumed the illumination flash was IR and not visible light?

Anybody know otherwise?

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#369334 - 13/09/2017 19:41 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: DWallach]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30784
Loc: Seattle, WA
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369336 - 13/09/2017 21:15 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: tfabris]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2533
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
LOL! grin
(it's funny 'cause it's true wink )
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#369337 - 14/09/2017 01:17 Re: new goodies from Apple (Sept 2017 edition) [Re: sn00p]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11933
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: sn00p
I just assumed the illumination flash was IR and not visible light?

Anybody know otherwise?

You could be right. That would make sense. I certainly hope so!
_________________________
Matt

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