Thoughts On New iPhones and Apple Watch

from an Android user’s perspective

this is my first post on Medium. Go easy on me.

Yesterday morning I was sitting on my desk, patiently scrolling trough my Google+ feeds. I was half awake that morning, roughly because my coffee was not fully working at that time. Probably because it was 2 AM in the morning.

There are only few reasons why am I half-awake at times like this. Other than a sudden need of midnight snack or an English Premier League match — or those times when I need to do my assignments and works but that requires a wide-awake me — There’s probably a huge important event from other parts of the world that needs to get my full attention.

One of them happened yesterday. It was the unveiling of new Apple products. One of the event that makes us geeks and nerds screams in silence while live-tweeting interesting things we see on the screen (or live if you are lucky enough). Being that person who comments, praises, and rants about things the company announces is always what my circle of friends described me. But like other Apple event, this time I didn’t get that part. Instead I was reluctantly reading every new Google+ posts and Twitter feeds that has something to do with the unveiling. That’s because Apple doesn’t allow live streams other than from their devices. And I don’t own one.

The unveiling of the new iPhones itself didn’t surprise me much. hundreds of leaks can be found months before the official presentation. We can even see a 7-minute video showing the hardware in full exposure. And Apple brings new features that has been on Android for years, such as NFC. Apple was persistent to make their own standards, by refusing to adopt the NFC technology. And finally Apple did and I am somewhat happy for it. Because if Apple starts to innovate something, that’s the time when something is widely implemented. I never got a chance to use an NFC to pay something in my country, because that thing is still considered as a nerd wet dream. Hopefully short after there will be stores and shops that offer this kind of payments soon.

I remember last year when Apple introduces Touch ID or fingerprint security to the masses. We know that the technology has been there for ages. And Motorola Atrix had implemented this before so it wasn’t a revolutionary move at all. But the feature was considered as a gimmick by many. Then Samsung implements this on their Galaxy S5 and HTC pulls the same thing with HTC One Max. But those thing were a joke. Both of them appears to be limited in terms of usability and they’re kind of gimmicky features. In my opinion, only Apple, the only company who did this right. But they’re still wrong if they claim to be the first. But that doesn’t matter.

What surprised (and confused) me a little is the introduction pf the bigger-than-bigger iPhone. the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s basically the same thing as iPhone 6 with some modification inside and out but with giant 5.5-inch screen rather than 4.7-inch. Much larger than most people can handle. Now I start to see this as a plan to lure Android user which historically always been in bigger section in term of screen size. For a person who hold a Nexus 4 for the past 2 years, I cannot go back to the 4-inch phones. And perhaps a lot of people are agree with me. And Apple explicitly targets us Android user now with two big new iPhones. If I’m going to buy any iPhone I would totally choose the iPhone 6 over the Plus.

Because iPhone 6 Plus is a confusing device with an identity crisis. I can’t think why would anyone releases two different devices with the same specs at the same time. Yes having a choice that fulfill every needs is good but Samsung has a lot of choice and that is called fragmentation. Yes it is 5.5-inch but in terms of size it is larger than a Galaxy Note 3 which has a 5.7-inch display. Yes it gives better experience in media consumption and gaming but how it is now ergonomically correct when your thumb needs to reach far away to get to the notification shade? I always think any phone that cannot fit into my pocket is ridiculous. Galaxy Note series are always in this realm of ridiculousness. And Apple wants to join now.

And now we already aware that some avid iPhone users are not happy with the size change. Will they stick with their small 4-inch iPhones? That’s a logical answer considering the iPhone 5s is still new and works fabulous. The next step would be hoping that Apple will release an iPhone Mini next year. But if you are this worry, I will try to assure you that this changes isn’t bad. I will tell you a story.

I was once against big screens.

When it was time for a smartphone upgrade, I saw Samsung Galaxy S3 and I told myself that I won’t get anything this size. For a second a was thinking to convert to an iPhone. But I told myself to go to my friends house and hold his brand new HTC One X and played with it, juggling it around a little— without my friend looking of course! — and I finally convinced to just try. I picked Nexus 4 back then and won’t ever look back to my old phone.

So, if you’re an Apple user who is reluctant to do an upgrade just because of the screen size, just go to the nearest Apple Store and try to play with the iPhone 6 for a while. You may feel uncomfortable at first. You may resist the change for a bit, but that’s natural. If you love iPhone then you’ll love it too. Because it’s the same amazing device that you hold for years. But I won’t advice you to get the 6 Plus. If you want something that big, get an iPad Mini instead. It’s cheaper an bigger in terms of screen size. But that’s all back to the matter of preferences.

Oh, and one more thing..

Let’s talk about the Apple Watch. I cannot stress much on how I honestly like the hardware design. But that’s not a surprise coming from Apple, right? I like the way it has three watch edition with two different sizes and those bands, even though it is proprietary, we can expect a lot of 3rd party accessories follow soon after its release. And it’s going to be a lot. Like cases for the iPhones. Apple Watch is a fashion statement. But I think the feature inside is kind of gimmicky other than the essentials, such as, you know, the clock app? But I guess with the amazing developer support the Apple got, those gimmicky apps from Apple will soon be covered by hundreds of Swing Copters clones. And other interesting apps for sure.

The digital crown is new, but confusing as hell. You never know when to turn the dial and when to tap on the screen. And when you look at the app drawer, It’s nothing but a mess. If you got a trypophobia, I don’t know what can save you. The image below is the example of trypophobia. The other picture is a plant.

Even if you don’t care about the trypophobia thing, the UI still confuse you. How will you even know every name of the apps installed on it just by looking at every icons? And How can we find one if it’s not ordered alphabetically? Those question is still unanswered. We still need to see it in person to judge it. But initial impression, I like it. In practicality, not really. I’m not saying that I would choose Android Wear over Apple Watch, no. Android Wear is far from usable in real world. We still concern about the battery life and the unfinished features inside.

I honestly think, even though Apple is playing catch up right now, it will eventually surpass the Android Wear. In terms of hardware adaptation and of course app penetration.

“Apple, Android, both is good. It’s about with whom will you takes side.”
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