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Big Revolution - Sacrificing the details

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Welcome to issue 200 hundred of Big Revolution. Issue 200! The first 20 or so were test editions, sen
 
September 13 · Issue #200 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to issue 200 hundred of Big Revolution. Issue 200! The first 20 or so were test editions, sent to a small group of people, but still – I’ll do a little dance of celebration at hitting this nice round number, and then crack on with a busy edition…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • Apple has announced three new iPhones. The iPhone Xs Max is the big, most expensive one. The iPhone Xs is a slightly improved iPhone X, and the iPhone XR is a cheaper one, priced between the other two, with slightly worse specs (but not that much worse). TechCrunch has a comparison chart. Preorders start tomorrow on the Xs and Xs Max, and they hit stores on Friday next week. The XR is out late next month.
  • Apple also launched a new Apple Watch with a bigger case and screen. Basically, most of the leaks were right, but there were a few new details. For example, the new Apple Watch can monitor your pulse and alert you of unusual heart rhythms. It can also alert the emergency services if you suffer a fall.
  • A leaked November 2016 video of senior Google staff expressing upset at the election of Donald Trump will do little to persuade American conservatives that big tech firms aren’t biased against them. The video was published by Breitbart, but I’ve linked to a CNBC report above.
  • Google is killing Inbox, its playful, experimental alternative to the main Gmail app. It will be shuttered in March 2019. Now that many Inbox features are in Gmail, Google clearly sees no point having two email apps. But Inbox will be mourned by many who prefer its simplicity to Gmail’s more crowded interface.
  • Uber has launched a rebrand with a new logo. The company will hope its new look helps it break from the scandals of the past.
The big thought
iPhone Xs
Sacrificing the details
‘Apple is DOOMED’ is a common trope of the alarmist blog post written by someone who hasn’t thought enough about the company.
But while Apple is the most valuable in the world and far from doomed, yesterday’s event did leave me a little sad that a company once famed for delivering a simple, high-quality product line, has started to push financial success harder than ever, at the expense of user experience.
By my count, Apple now sells 67 different configurations of iPhone on sale. That’s a lot for a company that once trumpeted its simplicity.
Other red flags last night included the no-show for the AirPower charging mat that was announced last September but now may never see the light of day.
And then there’s the ever increasing price of its highest-end iPhones, coupled with the fact that a headphone jack adapter will no longer be included in the box. It’s one thing to charge your customers a premium on dongles and adapters, but Apple is increasingly brazen about charging extra for what many see as basic functionality.
Oh, and your most-expensive-mainstream-smartphone-ever doesn’t even include a fast charger in the box. That’s pretty standard for a high-end smartphone these days.
For a long time, Apple could explain many of the criticisms of what iPhones lacked vs premium Android devices as being all about offering the most stable, consistent, user-friendly experience. For the most part, it still offers that. And when it comes to mobile security, iOS wins hands down.
But as Apple jacks up its prices to offset the lack of growth in the smartphone market, it looks increasingly like a company willing to bleed every last cent out of its users, sacrificing a positive user experience for more dongles, an entire product that has never shown up, and product names that seem better suited to an Android phone eight years ago crossed with a soft drink.
Apple is far from doomed, but the smooth edges on its aluminium unibody seem a little more tarnished than they used to be.
One big read
How Game Apps That Captivate Kids Have Been Collecting Their Data How Game Apps That Captivate Kids Have Been Collecting Their Data
A look at how mobile games aimed at kids deliver intrusive data to ad networks, as well as fun to children.
One big tweet
Keep a cool head with your smartphone purchases, folks…
dan seifert
can't think of a single, sane reason for the average smartphone buyer to get the iPhone XS over the XR.

unless they need to buy a phone this month, the XR is 95% of the XS for 75% of the price and has a bigger screen.
9:37 PM - 12 Sep 2018
That’s all for today...
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