Archive for September 7, 2022

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple (MacRumors, Slashdot):

The Dynamic Island enables new ways to interact with iPhone, featuring a design that blends the line between hardware and software, adapting in real time to show important alerts, notifications, and activities. With the introduction of the Dynamic Island, the TrueDepth camera has been redesigned to take up less of the display area. Without impeding content on the screen, the Dynamic Island maintains an active state to allow users easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold. Ongoing background activities like Maps, Music, or a timer remain visible and interactive, and third-party apps in iOS 16 that provide information like sports scores and ride-sharing with Live Activities can take advantage of the Dynamic Island.

[…]

For the first time ever, the Pro lineup features a new 48MP Main camera with a quad-pixel sensor that adapts to the photo being captured, and features second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization. For most photos, the quad-pixel sensor combines every four pixels into one large quad pixel equivalent to 2.44 µm, resulting in amazing low-light capture and keeping photo size at a practical 12MP. The quad-pixel sensor also enables a 2x Telephoto option that uses the middle 12 megapixels of the sensor for full-resolution photos and 4K videos with no digital zoom. This delivers optical quality at a familiar focal length, which is great for features like Portrait mode.

[…]

With two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, the new 6-core CPU is up to 40 percent faster than the competition and easily handles demanding workloads.

They are comparing the A16, not with the A15, but with an unspecified chip that’s slightly slower than the A13 from 2019.

Marco Arment:

They turned the notch into a feature. That’s damn-clever design.

ok Alan Dye you win this one

Collin Allen:

The iPhone 14 Pro notch/pill design and animations look outstanding. Embracing the limitation instead of just tolerating it.

Craig Hockenberry:

Whoa. Safe area hell.

John Siracusa:

“Dynamic Island” may be the strangest Apple name in several years (and that’s saying something).

John Gruber:

Last year the iPhones started at these prices (128 GB):

13 Mini: $700 (+$30 bullshit carrier fee)
13: $800 (+$30 bullshit carrier fee)
13 Pro: $1000
13 Pro Max: $1100

Previously:

Update (2022-09-08): Sami Fathi (tweet):

A Geekbench test result for iPhone15,3, the identifier for the iPhone 14 Pro, shows the new iPhone with a single-core score of 1879 and a multi-core score of 4664. The iPhone 13 Pro scores 1707 in single-core and 4659 in multi-core, only being marginally slower than the latest high-end iPhone.

Federico Viticci:

I knew the Dynamic Island animations had a familiar vibe...

Apple’s WWDC 2013 promo video and iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island. A decade apart.

Nick Heer:

Apple’s advice to developers was to, in effect, simply ignore the notch and pretend it does not exist. But then WWDC this year brought a brand new HIG and, while we were all distracted by its redesign, Apple subtly updated its layout guidance to remove restrictions on how to deal with sensor housings. Now, Apple simply advises designers and developers to “[r]espect key display and system features in each platform” by following its recommended safe areas.

Marco Arment:

iPhone 14 Pro display resolution is very slightly larger than 13 Pro:

13 Pro: 2532 x 1170
14 Pro: 2556 x 1179

Both are 460 PPI.

Jonathan Deutsch:

The screen size is 8 pixels taller but the dynamic island takes 20 pixels more than the notch, losing you 12px of effective height.

Ryan Jones:

The camera bump march of time continues.

  • iPhone 14 Pro bump is 4.18mm total
  • that’s over half the thickness of the phone body
  • including bump, the 14 Pro is thicker than original iPhone

Sami Fathi:

Apple says the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max weigh 7.27 ounces and 8.47 ounces, respectively, which is only slightly heavier than iPhone 13 Pro models.

Sami Fathi:

Since the iPhone 14 Pro is the first iPhone to include an always-on display, there are several unknowns about how the feature will work, what it will look like, whether it will be customizable, and how it will impact battery life. We answer those questions and more below about the new feature of Apple’s highest-end iPhone.

Update (2022-10-13): John Gruber (tweet):

This means that Dynamic Island isn’t just a cooler-looking presentation of a feature on other iPhones. It’s an entire incredibly useful interaction model and set of features that are exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. If this remains the case, I’d say that the Dynamic Island alone is a reason to upgrade to a 14 Pro, and a reason not to even consider buying the 14 or 14 Plus. Would I pay $200 — the price delta between the same-sized Pro and regular iPhone 14 models — just to get the Dynamic Island? Yes.

[…]

The second super interesting thing about the iPhones 14 Pro is the always-on display. It is really weird. Not weird because it’s a bad idea, but weird because battery life has always been, and remains, a precious resource to be conserved on smartphones. […] I’m still not sure what purpose it serves. (The answer, I suspect, is Live Activities, which aren’t shipping until iOS 16.1. Being able to see updates to a Live Activity on an always-on display sounds potentially useful.)

[…]

The A16 chip in the iPhones 14 Pro seems, in my decidedly non-rigorous testing, to be about 10-15 percent faster than the 5-core A15, both in CPU and GPU processing.

Jason Snell:

At present, however, I have to say that the always-on lock screen feels… inessential. It’s a nice idea, but I have yet to feel gratified that I was able to glance at my iPhone and see something without reaching for it. It displays the time nice and big, which would be great if I didn’t wear a watch or find myself surrounded by other gadgets that also can tell me the time. iOS 16’s move to roll notifications up into a tighter bundle and place them at the bottom of the screen is a great organizational choice, but it also eliminates the whole idea of just glancing to see what’s come in since the last time I checked.

Beyond the ability to stay on all the time, the iPhone 14 Pro’s display has been upgraded to be brighter. HDR content can now peak at 1600 nits, and as a result, that dynamic range is very much higher. It’s an impressive, high-contrast display that I notice every time I am looking at HDR photos or videos.

Nilay Patel:

At long last, Apple added an always-on display mode to the iPhone 14 Pro, which, well, Android phones have had always-on displays for a long time now. It’s fine! The display refresh rate drops to just one hertz, and the brightness goes extremely low to save battery life. Apple’s done some nice work to keep wallpaper colors accurate in the low-power always-on mode, but honestly, I would prefer a Pixel-style black and white clock to something that sort of looks like my phone is awake all the time. I hope we see some customization options here in the future.

Joe Rossignol:

[The] first reviews of the devices have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.

Juli Clover:

An early benchmark for the A16 chip in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max suggested only modest speed improvements, but an additional score uploaded to Geekbench today indicates that we could see a more significant jump in performance compared to the A15 chip.

Keith Harrison:

Here’s a recap of what’s changed with the 2022 iPhone 14 screen sizes.

Sami Fathi:

The always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will intelligently and automatically turn off when a user leaves their iPhone in a room and walks out while wearing an Apple Watch.

Sami Fathi:

Apple is investigating a bug that may cause iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models to freeze after customers transfer their data from an older iPhone, the company said today in an internal memo obtained by MacRumors.

Joe Rossignol:

Following the launch of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max last week, some early adopters of the devices said they have experienced an issue that prevents them from being heard at a suitable volume during phone calls initiated via CarPlay in a vehicle.

Sami Fathi:

iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping.

M.G. Siegler:

I simply cannot believe Apple didn’t come up with some kind of new case for the iPhones 14 Pro that allowed you to lay it flat, as the lord intended.

M.G. Siegler:

Someone who is updating from a several year old iPhone will notice a great leap in speed and capability. Perhaps a brand new size if you’re getting an iPhone 14 Plus instead of say, an iPhone 12 Mini. But for those of us who have had each and every iteration of the device, it’s a new haircut. A nice one.

Quinn Nelson:

Apple needs to add a “disable always-on display while charging” mode cause the iPhone 14 Pro’s AOD is way too bright for the bedside table.

Benjamin Mayo:

It’s such an Apple simplification to show the exact same lock screen whether the phone is awake or not. It’s so similar that it is a stretch to even describe it as a “mode”. It’s just your lock screen, dimmed.

[…]

Of course, personal preference matters a lot here. Indeed, it’s never a good look when a significant portion of the initial embargoed reviews mentioned they turned off the feature entirely — arguably disabling one third of the Pro-exclusive features this generation — because they found the permanent aliveness of Apple’s always-on implementation too distracting. Some people simply prefer a simpler, muted, always-on state.

[…]

As I already said, I happen to like the feature as-is — but I don’t want the screen to shine brightly through the night whilst I’m trying to sleep, if only to avoid unnecessary battery drain. As of right now, the only way to get the screen to turn off at night is to use the Sleep Focus mode.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max costs $110 to produce, making it over 2.4× as costly as the A15 chip in iPhone 13 Pro models released last year, according to a Nikkei Asia report.

Previously:

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News, Slashdot):

Available in the popular 6.1-inch size and a stunning new 6.7-inch size, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feature a durable and sleek aerospace-grade aluminum design in five beautiful finishes.

[…]

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus introduce a new standard for photo and video capture with a new 12MP Main camera featuring a larger sensor and larger pixels, a new front TrueDepth camera, the Ultra Wide camera to capture more of a scene, and Photonic Engine for a giant leap in low-light performance.

[…]

With a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone can now detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone.

[…]

The iPhone 14 lineup also introduces Emergency SOS via satellite, which combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

As rumored, it still uses the A15, and there is indeed no new iPhone mini.

Marco Arment:

Sounds like they’ve renamed the “Wide” camera to “Main”. Good.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple today announced that all iPhone 14 models sold in the U.S. do not have a built-in SIM card tray and will rely entirely on eSIM technology.

Ben Bajarin:

Apple now fully offering safety as a service.

Emergency SOS via satellite is free for the 2 years, with pricing after that unannounced.

Previously:

Update (2022-09-08): Joe Rossignol:

Apple never advertises the amount of RAM in iPhones, but MacRumors can confirm that all four iPhone 14 models are equipped with 6GB of RAM.

Joe Rossignol:

An optional new accessibility feature allows the upcoming iPhone 14 models to play a sound while turning on and off, according to assistive technology expert Steven Aquino, who compared the feature to the Mac’s iconic startup chime.

Joe Rossignol:

While the new iPhone 14 lineup does not include an iPhone 14 mini, Apple continues to sell the iPhone 13 mini, with pricing starting at a lower $599 in the United States. The device remains available with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of storage in several colors.

Nick Heer:

For people who do not demand the latest and greatest, this may be the best news from today’s announcements. The iPhone 12 is just $600, and so is the iPhone 13 Mini.

Update (2022-10-10): Joe Rossignol:

Three out of four iPhone 14 models feature larger battery capacities compared to the iPhone 13 lineup, with the exception being the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is equipped with a slightly smaller battery compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

John Voorhees:

The reviews for the new iPhones are out, and I’m not surprised that the greatest buzz is around the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It’s worth digging into each of these reviews to get each author’s full take on the new iPhones, but here are a handful of observations that I thought were particularly interesting.

Ben Lovejoy:

There’s a very consistent theme to the base model iPhone 14 reviews: It’s not good enough to justify paying $100 more than the (now) $699 iPhone 13. If you want a new phone this year, spend the extra on the iPhone 14 Pro.

Indeed, of the early reviews, I’ve only spotted one which didn’t boil down to this advice[…]

Allison Johnson:

The iPhone 14 is a very good phone, with a handful of useful upgrades over the 13. But it’s a small handful, and that leaves the 14 in a tight spot. The iPhone 13, which came out a year ago and Apple is still selling, is nearly identical to the 14 and $100 cheaper, while the iPhone 14 Pro introduces a lot of interesting new features.

Nick Heer:

iPhone 14 does not follow this pattern at all. Its branding is actually quite strange. Like an S-model, it lacks a new industrial design; unlike an S-model, it also lacks the technical upgrades that line was known for. As Johnson writes in her review, it carries basically the same SoC, the same display, and most of the same internals. Its camera upgrades are more substantial for a non-Pro iPhone model but, like the iPhone 13, are really hand-me-downs from the previous year’s Pro line. The biggest changes are the edge-case technologies it shares with the iPhone 14 Pro and newest Apple Watch models: car crash detection and emergency satellite connectivity. Are those things worthy of the “S” nomenclature?

Sami Fathi:

Both the front and rear cameras on the iPhone 14 received some upgrades. On the front, the selfie camera is an all-new 12MP camera that features autofocus. Apple says the new camera delivers up to 2x better low-light photos thanks to its larger aperture.

On the back, the iPhone 14 features the same dual-camera setup as the iPhone 13 but now includes improved Main and Ultra Wide lenses. The new Main camera has an ƒ/1.5 aperture that allows 49% more light to enter every shot. The Main camera also benefits from a new workflow that Apple calls the Photonic Engine.

Josh Centers:

The iPhone 14 may not have been perfect, but it preserved some of the blue sky and clouds in the background, presumably due to Apple’s Deep Fusion technology combining multiple images with different exposures. However, the evening sun completely washes out the sky on the iPhone 11 Pro.

[…]

Apple promised big improvements to low-light photos and Night mode thanks to its new Photonic Engine pipeline, whatever that is. And the company delivered.

[…]

I took multiple sample videos while chasing my kids around. If I didn’t know which was which, I don’t think I could reliably have identified which used Action mode.

[…]

I decided to push Action mode to the extreme. I took a walk, intentionally shaking the heck out of the camera while filming. Amazingly, when I played the video back, it was smooth as butter, with only a hint of jitter. Aha!

To me, the Night mode photo looks sharper and brighter with the iPhone 11 Pro.

Joanna Stern:

Since the iPhone 14 went on sale, the 911 dispatch center near Kings Island amusement park has received at least six phones calls saying:

“The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash...”

Except, the owner was just on a roller coaster.

AirPods Pro 2022

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

With the power of the new H2 chip, AirPods Pro unlock breakthrough audio performance — including major upgrades to Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode — while also offering a unique way to experience Spatial Audio that’s even more immersive. Now, customers can enjoy Touch control for media playback and volume adjustments directly from the stem, along with longer battery life, a brand-new charging case, and an additional ear tip size for a better fit.

[…]

AirPods Pro offer 1.5 hours of additional listening time over the first generation, for a total of up to six hours with Active Noise Cancellation.

[…]

AirPods Pro come with a newly designed charging case that is sweat- and water-resistant, and includes a lanyard loop so it’s always within reach. With Precision Finding, users with a U1-enabled iPhone can locate their charging case with guided directions. The charging case also has a built-in speaker to deliver louder tones, so it’s even easier to locate.

It still uses Lightning and lacks support for lossless audio. Everything else sounds great, though.

Ish Abazz:

Volume controls on AirPods Pro!

James Thomson:

I will happily pay hundreds of pounds to be able to adjust the volume… Ok, maybe not happily.

Previously:

Update (2022-09-08): Joe Rossignol:

All four new iPhone 14 models and the second-generation AirPods Pro include support for Bluetooth 5.3, according to Apple’s tech specs for each device, but the status of LE Audio support for the devices remains unclear at this time.

Update (2022-10-10): Sami Fathi:

For customers still using the first-generation AirPods Pro or older AirPods models, there are several new features and changes you can look forward to using.

Joe Rossignol:

In advance, the first reviews of the wireless headphones have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.

Tim Hardwick:

However, the speaker also plays an audible chime whenever you start charging the Charging Case. The sound plays whether you connect the case to power via Lightning or place it down on a charging pad. If you find this distracting, here’s an easy way to turn it off.

Juli Clover:

We picked up a the AirPods Pro 2 and thought we’d check them out to give MacRumors readers an overview of all the new features.

Sami Fathi:

Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro.

Sami Fathi:

Some users of the second-generation AirPods Pro are reporting ongoing issues with their brand-new earbuds randomly disconnecting from their devices as they listen to music or watch videos.

Mark Ellis:

They are amazing.

These are ten things I’ve learned about AirPods Pro 2 in the short time I’ve spent with them.

Joe Rossignol:

Lumafield today shared CT scan images of the second-generation AirPods Pro charging case, providing a look at internal changes to the case.

Joe Rossignol:

Repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro, providing a closer look at the internals of the new earbuds and charging case. The teardown confirms that AirPods Pro remain largely unrepairable.

Ryan Jones:

AirPods Pro 2 have a strong magnet.

John Gruber:

Turns out it was just a bug that the Adaptive Transparency toggle was enabled for first-gen AirPods Pro. Makes sense — according to Apple, the feature requires the brand-new H2 chip.

Quinn Nelson:

Quinn of Snazzy Labs gives his review of AirPods Pro 2 from the perspective of an audiophile.

Via Dave B:

I’ve gotta agree with him regarding the sound. People are really underselling how different the APP2 sounds from the APP1.

Hartley Charlton:

The longer battery life of second-generation AirPods Pro is partly achieved by use of physically bigger batteries, regulatory filings show.

Hartley Charlton:

A bug is alerting some second-generation AirPods Pro users to "replace" their battery soon, according to various online reports.

Update (2022-12-01): Sami Fathi:

In an interview with What Hi-Fi?, Apple engineer Esge Andersen, who works on the company's acoustic team, said that Apple does not believe that current Bluetooth technology is a limiting factor in audio quality for the AirPods. Anderson added that even with current Bluetooth technology and codec standards, Apple can still make improvements in audio quality while the company's focus remains on reliability.

Previously:

Apple Watch Ultra

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple Watch Ultra introduces a 49mm titanium case and flat sapphire front crystal that reveals the biggest and brightest Apple Watch display yet. A customizable Action button offers instant access to a wide range of useful features. Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life of any Apple Watch, reaching up to 36 hours during normal use. Additionally, a new low-power setting, ideal for multi-day experiences, can extend battery life to reach up to 60 hours. The Wayfinder watch face is designed specifically for the larger Apple Watch Ultra display and includes a compass built into the dial, with space for up to eight complications. Apple Watch Ultra also brings three new bands — Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band — offering unique design features that provide a secure and comfortable fit for every adventure.

[…]

Apple Watch Ultra has three built-in microphones to significantly improve sound quality in voice calls during any conditions.

[…]

For the first time ever in an Apple Watch, the precision dual-frequency GPS integrates both L1 and the latest frequency, L5, plus new positioning algorithms.

[…]

Backtrack uses GPS data to create a path showing where the user has been, which is useful if they get lost or disoriented and need help retracing their steps. It can also turn on automatically in the background when off the grid. With a single press of the Action button, users can quickly drop a Compass Waypoint or start or view a Backtrack. An 86-decibel siren is designed for emergencies, should users become lost or injured, and can help draw attention to a location.

All models have cellular and start at $799.

Ryan Jones:

So nomenclature definitions.

Pro = fancy high-end
Max = maximum pro’ness
Ultra = over-the-top, ultra-rare use cases
Extreme = no one really needs this, just pushing limits to push limits

Michael Gorbach:

The Apple Watch Ultra’s Action Button is powered by some awesome new App Intents APIs. You will be able to build your own apps to integrate with it, like a hockey app that uses the button to record goals! And for users, the button can kick off any Shortcut you want!

Jason Snell:

Turns out that extreme-sport-focused Apple Watch really is extreme-sport focused. Apple Watch Ultra. I suppose there will be aspirational aspects of this but Apple’s not shying away from the sports messaging.

Alex Roddie:

As someone who has tested countless GPS watches actually designed for mountain use, I’m not impressed by it. 36 hours battery life is pathetic. 65 hours would be just about competitive these days.

And by 65 hours I mean 65 hours of full-burn GPS tracking. I doubt that the Watch Ultra can cope with even a third of this, which makes it years behind the competition.

It’s so painfully obviously a device designed by urban people who want to ‘disrupt’ a market they don’t understand.

[…]

It’s amazingly hard to find any tech that works without frustration in the backcountry. Even Garmin/Suunto devices, designed from the ground up for this stuff, are full of issues and irritations.

Sean Heber:

Well, I will say, this Ultra watch is a much better use of Apple’s vast resources and research than making a solid gold $10,000 “I’m too rich for my own good” edition like they did way back in the day.

Previously:

Update (2022-09-08): Victoria Song (tweet):

As for how that wrist slab feels, it was actually lighter on my wrist than I’d expected, probably because its case is made of titanium. But make no mistake — it is a BIG watch.

Ben Bajarin:

It was surprising how light Apple Watch Ultra is. For me, the size won’t be an issue. I asked why not a smaller size for women and basically they couldn’t pack all the tech into a smaller size.

Nicolas Magand:

I don’t think Apple wants to be the most popular smartwatch brand among “adventurers” or wants to compete with Garmin directly (it has to be a small market overall: Garmin’s fitness division revenue in 2021 was only $1,534 million, which is pretty much pocket change for Apple). Apple wouldn’t mind, and I am pretty sure it is one of the company’s goals. What Apple wants first is to attract a very desirable segment of the population into the Apple ecosystem because Apple knows these people are inspiring, just like creatives.

It can be described, I think, as product placement. But instead of spending money to pay companies or individuals to have a device featured in a movie or on Instagram, Apple spends money creating the product that people making these movies and social media posts will organically buy.

Thomas Ricker:

I’m a longtime Garmin watch fan. Most of my friends and family have all purchased svelte Apple Watches. It’s a great smartwatch but I wanted a great outdoor adventure and fitness watch to pair with my iPhone instead. That’s why I’ve been wearing big hulking Garmin watches like the Fenix and Epix series despite their clumsy software interfaces. I’ve used them to obsessively track and measure my performance in a variety of activities that include kitesurfing, trail running, golfing, weight training, and mountain biking.

[…]

Without a doubt, the Apple Watch Ultra comes up short on a spec comparison with similarly priced devices sold by Garmin, Coros, and others. The battery is the most glaring example: 36, or even 60 hours enabled by a future low-power update, is weak in a category where batteries are measured in weeks. Out of the box it also lacks things like built-in topographical maps needed for trails, or support for Bluetooth power meters and cadence sensors used by cyclists. Apple’s sport features and analytics also pale in comparison to the depth and variety offered by the competition.

[…]

I can say this already though: Garmin’s biggest weak spot is usability. Its high-end watches have tons of features and capabilities that are obscured by complicated software that feels, at times, like operating a scientific calculator. Apple excels at user interfaces, Garmin doesn’t, just like Nokia which struggled in vain to adapt Symbian in response to the iPhone and Android. And given enough time, Apple’s watches will catch up to the specs and features available on Garmin’s flagship watches.

Jason Snell:

I’m not sure how you can underestimate one of the world’s most successful companies, but somehow we managed to do it with Apple regarding Wednesday’s “Far Out” event.

Update (2022-09-09): John C. Welch:

So i know that a lot of the new Watch stuff were aimed at long hikes or what have you, but I want you to think about how those same features contribute to safety in everyday situations.

Not just the obvious, like crash detection et al, but all the new features…

Jonathan Deutsch:

Perspective on the pricing of the WATCH:

• Last year’s Series 7, Titanium, GPS+Cell, 45mm: $𝟴𝟰𝟵 𝗨𝗦𝗗

• This year’s Ultra, Titanium, GPS+Cell, 49mm, AND all other sensors/battery/etc: $𝟳𝟵𝟵 𝗨𝗦𝗗

You could argue it is cheaper than last year!

Update (2022-10-14): Marco Arment:

Hot take: Garmin will be fine. This isn’t like the iPhone.

They make a huge range of satellite phones and fitness watches, many with characteristics that outperform the Ultra because they require trade-offs toward bulk, ugliness, or non-smartness that Apple will never choose.

John Gruber:

Apple Watch Ultra isn’t going to just make watches like this [Casio] one disappear. […] But man, Apple Watch Ultra makes this thing look silly in so many ways.

August Mueller:

So I’ll be getting an Apple Watch Ultra, eventually, once this one kicks the bucket. Because I’m not gentle with these things.

Sami Fathi:

The Apple Watch Ultra features a 76% larger battery compared to the 45mm Series 8, according to newly uncovered specifications in a Chinese certification database.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple Watch Ultra will start arriving to customers and launch in stores on Friday, September 23. Ahead of time, the first reviews of the high-end watch have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.

John Gruber:

Apple Watch Ultra feels like a different size class entirely. For the most part, though, you get the same on-screen content from WatchOS as on the regular Series models. You just see more at a time, like when reading a text message or email. There is one watch face unique to Ultra, the Wayfinder face that Apple is using in most promotional and marketing photos. But all the other WatchOS watch faces are more or less the same on Ultra, just scaled bigger.

[…]

But the larger and (for the first time on Apple Watch) perfectly flat display crystal gives it a different feel while using it. It’s unabashedly a computer on your wrist. The Calculator app, for the first time, feels perfectly usable without pecking at the buttons with particular care. The on-screen QWERTY keyboard that Apple added last year to WatchOS 8 is surprisingly usable.

[…]

The Action button is, functionally, the biggest difference between the Ultra and the Series models. As I wrote last week, an extra button is a big addition to a device that heretofore only had two, and even moreso given that the Action button is the first hardware button on Apple Watch that’s user-configurable at the system level and can be assigned app-specific functions by third-party developers.

[…]

The flashlight is surprisingly useful, which speaks to how bright the Ultra’s 2,000-nit-max display can be.

[…]

If WatchOS were more capable and independent, it really could be more of an iPhone Nano.

DC Rainmaker:

Whether or not the Apple Watch Ultra is for you, depends largely on what you plan to use it for. If you had or wanted an Apple Watch, but were held back by battery life, and perhaps button usability – then the Ultra largely solves that. Similarly, if you wanted more advanced running/workout metrics, then WatchOS 9 on the Apple Watch Ultra also solves that too. And, if you never knew you wanted an emergency siren on your wrist for when you fall off an embankment, then the Ultra is for you too (but seriously, that feature is surprisingly well executed).

However, as good as Ultra is for most existing Apple Watch users (or more mainstream prospective users), it falls short when it comes to features that you would need to complete an actual ‘ultra’ – that is, a long distance running race, or trek, or really any adventure in the backcountry. These gaps fall into a couple of different camps. Sure, there’s the bugs like the openwater swim one, or the disappearing compass backtrack one. I’m less concerned about those at the moment. Instead, it’s the navigational feature gaps, and sensor pairing/broadcasting gaps that are more key for Apple.

David Smith:

Having now used the Action button, do you think its utility could justify optionally replacing the Side button Dock behavior on the regular watches with a comparable feature? I rarely use the Dock but immediately thought having the same Action button options could fit well there.

Joe Cieplinski:

Good idea. As long as they make the Dock one of the options for those who still want it, I don’t see a downside. And no need for another physical button.

I never use the Dock, either.

Garrett Murray:

On the fence about getting Apple Watch Ultra because you think it’ll be too big? Here’s a comparison on my small wrists of the Series 7 and Ultra. It’s very comfortable, and after wearing it for a bit, feels completely normal to me (if anything, the 7 looks a little small now).

Sami Fathi:

A YouTuber has put Apple’s claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display.

Joonas (via Hacker News):

At the launch event, Apple spent quite a bit of time discussing how wonderful Ultra will be for hiking and multi-day expeditions. Even their ad video told how “you need a map”. To every hiker’s astonishment, there is no map on Ultra. Instead, Apple focused on telling how the watch now records a backtrack of waypoints that you can use to get out of the wilderness.

[…]

Many Garmin hiking-focused watches have a real offline topographic map, including the trusty Garmin Fenix 6X Pro I have been using for two years.

Tim Hardwick:

For anyone curious, tech reviewer and YouTuber DC Rainmaker has posted a video in which he demonstrates the Depth app in action at deeper levels, using an underwater test chamber designed for diving equipment.

Tim Hardwick:

Apple Watch Ultra has been endorsed by American musician and famous watch collector John Mayer, who has been showing off the new device on his Instagram account.

Joe Rossignol:

iFixit today shared an Apple Watch Ultra teardown post and video, providing a closer look at the watch’s internal design and components.

David Smith:

For my previous day’s test I had configured my watch to start a workout within my hiking app so that I could test this integration and using the secondary action within the app. What I was surprised to discover, however, was that this meant that pushing the Action button would now instantly end whatever workout I was already doing and immediately start a workout within my app. This swap over occurs without any user confirmation. I believe the hem of my glove pushed into the action button while I was hiking and that triggered the early end of my workout and the start of the workout in the other app.

For me this meant that rather than having the super fun, and personally meaningful 26.2 mile workout in my history…I instead have a split workout, broken into a number of shorter segments.

[…]

I never was able to observe the automatic tracking in action, even though I was far away from civilization for very long stretches of time during my trip. I’d check in the Compass app periodically and it was never laying down a track. Either I don’t understand this feature or the automatic trigger doesn’t work reliably, which is a bit concerning for a feature that potentially has a safety use.

Mark Ellis:

Today, I’m going to reveal ten things that only Apple Watch Ultra owners know.

Matt Birchler:

But I personally didn’t prefer it to the Series 7, largely due to a few things:

  • I greatly prefer the curved screen
  • I prefer the smaller size
  • Steel looks better than titanium
  • I prefer not having a crown guard

But here I am after the review, still wearing the Ultra day-to-day. Why?

I think it’s simply because it’s new and novel.

David Smith:

The reason I needed to work out the round rect math is because I realized that the bezel shape on the Ultra isn’t as I first thought a Superellipse, instead it looks to actually follow a continuous round rect. So I can make my border marks better track the corners if I switched.

M.G. Siegler:

As it turns out, the Apple Watch Ultra is not “Ultra” in the ways the name and initial framing suggest. Instead, it’s just “Ultra” in that it’s clearly the best version of the Apple Watch.

[…]

Now, your mileage will absolutely vary here. It basically boils down to how large your wrists are.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

If it just had a third-party watch face API, even one not offered to apps on the App Store, I would be so into this model. Without, I feel Apple Watch as a product is dead to me 🙁

Apple Watch SE 2022

Apple (MacRumors):

The new Apple Watch SE delivers the core Apple Watch experience, including Activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and Emergency SOS, as well as the new Crash Detection feature and a completely redesigned back case that perfectly matches the three classic case finishes, all at a more affordable price of $249 (US).

[…]

Powerful upgrades include the S8 SiP advanced dual-core processor, the same processor that is in Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, making it 20 percent faster than the previous generation, along with Crash Detection and international roaming.

[…]

Apple Watch SE maintains the same case design, but features a redesigned matching back case made of a nylon composite material, making it lighter than ever.

Previously:

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple (MacRumors):

With all-day 18-hour battery life, Apple Watch Series 8 builds on best-in-class health and safety features like the ECG app and fall detection by introducing temperature-sensing capabilities, retrospective ovulation estimates, Crash Detection, and international roaming.

[…]

When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial emergency services if they are unresponsive after a 10-second countdown. Emergency responders will receive the user’s device location, which is also shared with the user’s emergency contacts.

[…]

To keep users connected for even longer, a new Low Power Mode can extend battery life to reach up to 36 hours for Apple Watch Series 8 with iPhone present. This new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications, and more.

Previously:

Update (2022-10-14): Hartley Charlton:

The S8 chip in the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and second-generation Apple Watch SE features the same CPU as the S6 and S7 chips, according to identifier codes.

Tim Hardwick:

A growing number of user reports online suggest the microphone on some new Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra models can become persistently unresponsive after an unspecified amount of time, causing apps that rely on the mic to throw up errors and stop working.

Josh Centers:

One big advantage of the pricier Apple Watch over the SE is the full QWERTY keyboard for responding to messages. It was originally introduced with the Series 7 and is much easier than trying to dictate or use the Scribble feature to enter text.

[…]

Even switching between an Apple Watch Series 4 and the Series 8, the difference isn’t remarkable. The screen is slightly bigger and brighter, the screen always remains on (at the cost of battery life), and there are more apps, like Blood Oxygen and Compass. But wearing a watch four generations ahead didn’t fill me with gadget lust.

[…]

The Apple Watch has long been our favorite smartwatch, and that continues with the Series 8. If you use an iPhone, the Apple Watch is the only smartwatch worth considering. Nothing else comes close in features or integration.

Joe Rossignol:

We’ve rounded up both written and video reviews of the Series 8 and new SE below.