I am unexcited about the direction in Smartphone design. The key design idea that less is more in a phone is becoming Less is a Bore. Perhaps that’s why this design of a Blackberry got me thinking about it. While it still has a gorgeous screen, the phone itself is worthy of looking at and touching. It strikes the right balance. The phone as a design object is worthwhile.
It would have been good if Apple had struck out in a new design direction with the iPhone X. Instead they went with Less is More. Instead we have a phone with the Notch and a camera on the back that sticks out. It’s as if Apple would have preferred not to have these cameras and sensors, so rather than design the phone to incorporate them into the design, they stick out, figuratively and literally. In a few years from now when Apple has gone in a different direction, Apple fans will look back and exclaim how poor that aspect of the phone design is.
As for now, we live in an age where the screen dominates design, from TVs to smartphones. In the future that may change and the technology that we interact with will be contained in objects that have noteworthy design in them.
For more on this beautifully designed phone, see If BlackBerry Ditched the Keyboard | Yanko Design.
Great review of the latest iPhone*, here: The iPhone 8 is a look into the augmented future of photography | TechCrunch. I had heard that the iPhone 8 had a great new camera, but this article really drives that home.
If you are thinking of getting an “8”, this could be the reason you need. On the other hand, if you rarely take photos or don’t care too much about the quality, I think the case for an upgrade gets weaker.
* I don’t consider the iPhone X the latest phone so much as a promise of where the iPhone is going. To be honest, I think the iPhone X is as much an attempt to celebrate the 10 years of the iPhone and Steve Jobs’s legacy, not unlike the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Apple took a turn towards something I was hoping they would do: (relative) affordability. You can see it in this piece from Business Insider:
Apple introduced an iPhone with a smaller screen on Monday called the iPhone SE. The best way to think about it is as Apple’s current top-of-the-line iPhone specs in a smaller body. It costs $399 without a contract — a surprisingly low price for a new iPhone. …the older iPad Air 2 got a price cut to $399…. While the Apple Watch didn’t get a hardware update, Apple did unveil new nylon bands and cut its starting price from $350 to $299.
I was wondering if Apple was going to try and offer some affordable products or reposition itself as a luxury brand. I am glad to see they went with affordable. There are now lots of products from Apple at a wide range of price points, starting with the iPod (at $59). I have always been a fan of the lower priced iPods, and I am glad to see Apple still offers them. Likewise, the iPad Mini 2 is an excellent tablet and the iMac mini is an excellent computer. Relative to the market, they are priced competitively and yet superior technology. Now the new Watch and the new SE phone join them.
For people who want to spend lots of money, Apple has a product for them. By offering the lower end products, they both force their competitors to offer better products as well as allow more people to have access to their excellent technology.
P.S. I realize for some people, even these relatively low prices are not affordable. In the context of this post, affordable is in context to the rest of the marketplace an Apple product competes within.
There was a lot of scoffing when Apple recently released this
and claimed the colour was rose gold. It’s pink, was the common reply. But as this piece shows ( The Semiotics of “Rose Gold” – The New Yorker), rose gold is a specific material. It refers to an alloy of gold to which copper has been added. For that matter, white gold, which is an alloy with nickel or manganese, is also a specific material. Jewelers know this, of course, and Apple is smart to associate with the metal (gold) vs the colour.
The New Yorker piece is fascinating. Worth reading, especially if you are skeptical about the colour.
If you have made a commitment to getting fit in 2015, that’s good. If you think you can manage it, that’s better. But if you think you might have troubles with it, then consider the Pact app.
It works like this, according to Pact:
- Make a commitment – Make a weekly Pact to exercise more or eat healthier. Set what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t reach it.
- Meet Your Goals – Use the Pact app to track your progress.
- Reap the rewards – Earn real cash for living healthily, paid by the members who don’t!
For more info, see their site: Pact – Commit to you.
I have no idea how well it works, but it sounds interesting.
Not from me: I was a huge Blackberry fan since almost 10 years on, but they lost me a few years ago and I switched to an iPhone. But Jonathan Kay in this vigorous piece (below) on the new Passport got me seriously thinking about Blackberry again. I think I will stick to my iPhone for now, but anyone who was a fan of Blackberries should really read this: Jonathan Kay: Why I ditched my iPhone for Blackberry’s massive new Passport | National Post. You might find yourself heading down to your local service provider and coming out with one.
I am hopeful for Blackberry/RIM making a comeback. More and better choices are better for everyone.
Look at this picture. Amazing how similar these two phones are, yes?
The reason for this? The specs for the new smartphone are remarkably similar to those specs of the original iPhone. The phones even look similar, as you can see.
Two key differences between the original iPhone and the Firefox phone: release data and price. The Firefox phone is going to be priced well under $100, something an iPhone never has been (for good reasons).
Overall, I think the wider distribution of smart phone technology will only lead to greater overall benefits to the recipients. It will be interesting to see what change this causes. I think the net effect will be good.
For more information on this, click here.