After owning an iPhone 13 Pro for two years, I received my new iPhone 15 Pro Max
in the post earlier today. And I already want to share some of my very early impressions.
Primarily because I’m very glad I upgraded to this model, and it’s (obviously?) a very
good upgrade from the 13 Pro.
Starting with the actual design of the device, it’s not too much different from recent models.
I don’t personally care what material is used, but I’m definitely a fan of the finish. And while
the edges of the 13 didn’t cause me any trouble, I am finding myself appreciating the slightly
softer edges of the 15.
In both the 13 Pro and my new 15 Pro Max, I’ve chosen the colour closest to black. The 15 seems slightly
darker in appearance, which I appreciate. My favourite colour so far was the black iPhone 5, but I think
this is pretty close.
I haven’t set this up properly yet. Although I do envisage settling on having it launch
either the standard Camera app or possibly Halide.
I can’t say I have particularly strong opinions
about it at the moment, but I think I’d prefer if the action was immediate, rather than requiring a
long-press. Although, it would be better if you could configure different actions for a long-press or a
typical button press.
Most of the time I’ve charged my 13 Pro via a MagSafe charger on my bedside table. However, I do have
a Lightning cable in my work bag that I use occasionally, and I also prefer to take a cable when
on trips. So USB C won’t exactly make a huge difference to me. But it will certainly be handy to be
able to have one cable for practically all of my devices.
I haven’t used this too much yet. But I did play around with Portrait mode, and so far I’ve been very happy
with the results. The adjustable aperture and focus point both work well, and while I don’t know how often
I will use them, they’re good additions. I think all three cameras are different to my 13 Pro, so while I’ve
been initially impressed, I want to spend more time with it to have any real opinions.
I don’t know if the speakers in my 13 Pro had deteriorated, or if an improvement came in last years or this
years models. But the speakers seem much better. They’re certainly louder than my iPhone 13 Pro, and they seem
to also be clearer.
I want to separate my feelings on the Dynamic Island into two parts.
Firstly, it’s clearly a bad thing to have a cutout in a display. It means that software either has to work around
it, or completely disregard that area of the screen.
On the other hand, I do like what they did with the cutout. I like having quickly glanceable information there,
like timers, food delivery times, and also the currently playing music. And I also like having the ability to tap
it and quickly navigate to whatever is appearing. For example, tapping the now playing “bar” (not sure what this is called)
to open the Music app is handy.
However, if I was given the option, I’d rather the cutout didn’t exist at all.
My opinions on the 15 Pro Max will no doubt change as I use it. But as for right now, this is how I feel. I may write about it here again, or if not, I’ll probably just post about it on Mastodon.
The iPhone 15 Pro: Overengineered Buttons for Absolutely No Reason #
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will use a new ultra-low energy microprocessor allowing certain features like the new capacitive solid-state buttons to remain functional even when the handset is powered off or the battery has run out…
For a while, I’ve been thinking that the iPhone may be my next phone. I thought they’d refine a few things, and also switch to USB C finally. But the idea of these “new capacitive solid-state buttons” make me think otherwise_._
The user ersan191 posted comment on the post, which I think mirrors my thoughts on the recent “improvements” to the iPhone:
Seems like they are running out of things to overengineer at this point.
MacAddress have just released a video where they go through the effort of testing every iPhone camera*, so they could see how it has evolved over the many years. It’s pretty amazing to see what the cameras are capable of now compared to the original iPhone. (Although I’d still like to see a little less processing on current iPhones).
One thing they quickly rushed over in the video was that the 3GS is apparently gaining some popularity due to the style of photos that the 3MP camera produces.
PetaPixel published an article “TikTokers are Obsessing Over the iPhone 3GS Camera from 2009” which is also a fascinating read. After looking at the comparisons in that piece, I have to admit, photos taken on the 3GS do have a nice retro/film/nostalgic look to them, that I definitely find pleasing. I think I may have an old 3GS somewhere in my house, so I might need to experiment with that at some point.
*For reasons they explain in the video, this didn’t include an iPhone 3G or 5.
I don’t feel like I have a particularly strong opinion on the iPhone camera, or even more specifically, it’s post-processing. However, I do think it would be a good idea if there was a bit more control around this sort of stuff. I’ve had a few occasions where photos looked a bit odd, usually a sky being strangely blue (for Britain), or a sunset/golden hour scene missing the orange glow. So it would be nice to be able to at least see if turning off the various software tricks would improve that.
I’ve seen quite a few articles recently that claim that due to worrying sales of the iPhone 14 models, the price of next year’s models will likely be lower. While that may seem rather simple to understand, and probably not even require a “leak” to back it up, I’d like to offer two (also obvious) reasons why the 14 may be selling a little less than expected:
I’d argue that even if the 15 models go back to the “normal” (still hugely expensive) prices, it still won’t be worth the upgrade if the phones are not substantially better than their predecessors.
I still own a 13 Pro, and I honestly can’t think of any reason why I’d want to upgrade to a “better” iPhone. At least going by the improvements that were added in last-year models.
Now, if the next iPhone models are affected by the various E.U. rules that mean it needs to be USB C, have an easily (not sure what that even means) replaceable battery, and a few other improvements like that, then I’d probably be a bit more optimistic. But if it’s the usual list of changes like a brighter screen, longer battery, faster chip, and some new cinema-grade camera certification, then I think I’ll likely skip another generation. Or perhaps, even switch to a more interesting phone like the Google Pixel.
Joswiak said that the company will comply as it does with other laws. He declined to specify when the iPhone may get the charger to replace Lightning.[…]He said Apple and the EU had been at odds over chargers for a decade, recalling how European authorities once wanted Apple to adopt Micro-USB. He said that neither Lightning – the current iPhone charging port – nor the now-ubiquitous USB-C would have been invented if that switch had occurred.
I wonder if the EU law works somewhat in Apple’s favour here. Apple were clearly already on a journey to USB-C with the rest of their products. Although some would argue, the iPhone was destined to be port-less. However, this allows Apple to redirect any possible negativity towards the switch to USB-C to the EU.
I wrote about this proposal last September, and it’s funny to see how I felt just over a year ago. Especially since my position on it has softened quite substantially. To be honest, I’m now starting to think that it might be a good idea.
When I list all the devices I use, Macs, ThinkPad, Nintendo Switch, iPad, Pixel 6, work phone (it’s some Motorola Android phone), and iPhone 13, only one of them uses a port that’s not USB-C. I didn’t realise it until now, but the same applies for peripherals and accessories. The only non-USB-C (wired) accessory I use is my wired EarPods. And that’s only because Apple removed the headphone jack and used Lightning on the iPhone 13.
So I think I’m quite looking forward to it actually. That might not neccesarily mean I’m going to buy the next iPhone, but it being USB-C is definitely a positive for me.
Apple today announced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools. Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022. Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.The initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera. The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year.
My immediate reaction on Twitter to this was that I thought that this is a good idea, and benefits both Apple and consumers. Because this will surely be good for Apple’s reputation, and they’ll now gain more control of the iPhone parts market. And that means for consumers, they will have access to official parts that they can trust, and also be able to perform repairs themselves.
I’m not too sure Apple are doing this purely for the benefit of consumers though. I’m starting to wonder if they’re introducing this program so that they have a counterargument to the right to repair people.
I’m super curious to see how this is received by people on both sides of the right to repair argument. Will people who support right to repair see this as a win or an empty gesture distracting from their real concerns? Will people who have argued against right to repair because it would mean bulky products be annoyed because this shows that’s not really the case?
Even though I’m sure that Apple will be very restrictive to what parts they sell, and what they “allow” you to repair. I would find it incredibly amusing if Apple find a way to support reasonably priced repairs for batteries, screens, cases, etc. Because right now, the only manufacturers I see that are even thinking about this kind of stuff are making big phones that look ugly. And the excuse that “it’s repairable” won’t hold up as much.
As you may expect, it’s by no means the biggest battery pack you can get for your iPhone, with the capacity standing at 1460mAh, and it’s not clear what this will mean in terms of actual extra use time. However, when you compare it to the iPhone 12 battery capacities, you can probably get a rough estimate:
iPhone 12 mini capacity: 2227 mAh
iPhone 12/12 Pro capacity: 2815 mAh
iPhone 12 Pro Max capacity: 3687 mAh
So maybe if you’ve got a 12 or 12 Pro you can expect somewhere near 50% extra battery life? I’d be fine with that. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Regarding charging speed, the battery pack can charge an iPhone with up to 5W of power when not plugged in, and up to 15W when plugged into a 20W or higher power source. 5W is the typical rate for a standard wireless charger, so there’s no fast charging on the go. However, the benefit of MagSafe is that it simply attaches to the back of the device, so it’s not as inconvenient to use online attaching it via a cable to a battery pack.
I can see this as the perfect solution for a travel charger. As when you’re out and about, you have an extra punch of battery to get you through the day, but also the battery pack can serve as a wireless charger when plugged in. So I guess in that case, it’s two products in one.
Another interesting part of this battery pack is that it can also be charged by the iPhone. So if you need to use a cable directly with your iPhone for whatever reason, your iPhone will then use reverse charging to charge the battery pack. This functionality was reported to possibly exist in the latest iPhones last year, but this is the first I’ve heard of it being used.
I’ll wait until we hear more about the real-world capacity tests, and also when I’m able to travel a bit more, but it certainly looks like something I’m going to end up buying.
Yeah, I’m that guy this year. I couldn’t decide which iPhone size I wanted, so I got them all. It’s a weird position to be in but also provides me with some deeper insights into the real differences. I am not talking about specs and all those kinds of figures that people get too caught up in, the real things that make a difference to actually using the device. One of the strangest ones I have had to think about this year is the MagSafe wallet — so here is how it fits with each size iPhone.
I think the MagSafe wallet pairs really well with the new iPhones. It seems to fit all sizes without looking out of place, and also it’s a perfect item to be used with MagSafe.
After seeing Greg’s article, and his video showing the unboxing and answering a few questions, I think I’ll hold off buying one for now. I use a very small card wallet right now anyway, and only use 2 cards, so it seemed like a good fit for me. But seeing as the magnets aren’t as strong as I expected, and you still need to detach the wallet from the iPhone to use it. I think I’ll just wait and see.