The Apple hype is not over yet, but following last night’s event the world is three new iPhones and an updated Apple Watch richer. And though those are very cool and all, we can’t shake the feeling that Apple forgot half the program at yesterday’s keynote. Like some intern accidentally deleted essential files and they just decided to roll with it.
The grand event revealed three similar-looking iPhones, a watch that can sense heart rhythms and… no accessories for any of these products. If you in any way keep tabs on the brand (like we do), you might have been expecting updated AirPods, and at least some mention of the AirPower wireless charging mat that was previewed last year. Apple also made no mention of their decision that the world doesn’t need headphone jacks anymore — or the fact the company won’t be shipping free Lightning-to-3.5mm dongles with their new phones from now on. Oh Apple, sometimes you make it very difficult to love you.
Last year, Apple previewed the AirPower charging mat, something that would have allowed their hardware ecosystem to play together extremely nicely. No other brand could claim to offer a charging pad that let users juice up a phone, wearable, and audio gear — all at the same time — without requiring separate proprietary chargers.
We expected the AirPower to ship in 2018, shortly after the iPhone X was launched – but it was delayed to this September, because — let’s face it — this cannot be an easy thing to build. The pending device ran into ‘technical hurdles’ and Apple just casually forgot to mention it during the keynote. Guess we’ll have to stick to Qi-standard wireless chargers from other companies in the meantime.
No new AirPods
Numerous rumours leaked throughout 2018 teasing updated Apple AirPods, and we were really excited about the new buds — with noise-cancellation, water resistance and wireless charging allegedly planned for these (still mythical) earphones.
But while nothing was actually said, there is speculation about whether Apple may have actually announced the new accessories last night. The company can be ineffable, on occasion.
Watch the intro video from last night’s keynote again — just over two minutes into the Mission Impossible-inspired trailer, the woman pauses and says, “Hey Siri” to activate Siri without touching the AirPods she has in place. That is an AirPods 2 feature. Then she runs through a water feature, something you shouldn’t try with non-waterproof first-gen AirPods. Perhaps we’re not far off from a launch date after all.
No new iPads
We ran a story on iPad rumours recently, and the renders in that supposed leak look just gorgeous… so don’t judge us when we say we were slightly disappointed when the iPad didn’t get a slot last night.
Granted, Apple debuted the latest iPad in March this year, a slate that hits a great balance between entry-level and Pro designs. Rumours suggest that the company will now look to justify the Pro’s premium price with a major redesign inspired by the iPhone X’s design — tiny bezels, no home button and Face ID would make their debut with 11in and 12.9in versions. When will that be announced? Not at last night’s event, obviously.
While we didn’t get any iPad news at the keynote, Apple could very well have a separate iPad event later this year. It’s a bit late for a “one more thing” but we’d still take it.
And what about the headphones?
We’re not quite sure why, but Apple has an inherent hate for everything wired. But until they sort out the technical difficulties they are having with their AirPower mat, they’re going to have to live with wired things. Except headphones, apparently.
Not only has Apple discontinued all iPhones that feature a headphone jack (the iPhone 6, 6s and SE were the last survivors), it now won’t even bundle a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor like it’s done with ever generation of iPhone since it first ditched the jack.
If you’re stuck in the Apple ecosystem, you’ll have to either use a pair of Bluetooth headphones (like AirPods or wireless Beats, say) or get yourself a pair of Lightning-connector earbuds that you can’t use anywhere else. To those who do want to use their existing wired headphones, you’ll have to cough up some cash and buy one of those now-missing adaptors.The South African iStore doesn’t have any in stock as yet so there is no pricing, but converted from US dollars the add-on works out to roughly R140. Which probably means R200 or more when you factor in import duties and tax.
You can’t blame us for expecting more from Apple this year — we’ve seen truly interesting developments and advancements in 2018 from phone manufacturers like Huawei and Samsung. But the year isn’t over yet and Tim Cook and company still have ample time to announce new laptops and desktops machines, a smaller HomePod, and maybe even the rumoured upcoming bundled streaming service.
For now, we’ll have to console ourselves pouring over the new iPhone’s specs.