iPhone 6 Plus arriving in UK sooner than originally scheduled

When I ordered the iPhone 6 Plus last week I was quoted a delivery date between September 30 and October 3. Yesterday I got a revised delivery of this coming Monday, September 22. Today came another advice, threatening delivery tomorrow, September 20. This year Apple seem to have speeded things up considerably. 

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Relonch camera turns your iPhone into a bokehlicious device

After last week's flurry of news from Apple I turned my attention quickly to Photokina in Cologne and you can find my many reports on Macfilos Photography. One item that caught my attention and has a tech/Apple flavour is the Relonch camera which turns marries the iPhone with a pro f/2 prime lens. Read all about it here.

Phone is just an app which is not frequently used

I am fully with Horace Dediu on this:

Phone is just an app which, for me at least, is not frequently used. I communicate with my iPhone but the go-to app is iMessage or FaceTime or Skype or maybe Email or Twitter. Phone is something I use so rarely that the interface sometimes baffles me. And yes, it’s an Internet appliance. Browsing is something I do quite a bit but many of the browsing jobs-to-be-done are done better by apps. News, shopping Facebook and maps are “things which were once done in a browser."

He makes the point that when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone he described it as a combination of a wide-screen iPod, a phone and a breakthrough internet connector. These three things, says Dediu, are no longer the most used features.

Similarly, the Apple Watch was launched as a precise timepiece, a new, intimate way to communicate and a comprehensive health and fitness device. But it will develop over the coming years and who is to say what its most useful features will be seven years hence?

iPhone 6 Plus selling out fast after an hour on sale

All models of the iPhone 6 Plus except the 16GB base (which, I suspect, is not favoured by those going for the larger screen) are now on 3-4 weeks' delivery. In contrast, the smaller iPhone 6 seems to be 7-10 days for all configurations. Despite reports that the 5.5-in model has been introduces solely to cater for the Asian market, I think Apple will be surprised at the amount of interest from the USA and Europe in particular. The reason phablets have not been more popular in these markets is that Apple has not had one until now. It will be fascinating to get the sales figures after the weekend. 

Postscript: By 11 am on launch day all colours and configurations of the iPhone Plus had sold out at all UK Apple Stores. No details on further availability. 


iCloud Pricing: Legacy accounts to be upgraded

Two days ago I changed my £70-a-year 50GB iCloud plan to the new 200GB storage limit for £35.88 a year. Then I read several articles suggesting that the 50GB plan would be continued for legacy account holders with the implication that the price would be calculated pro rata with the new plans.

After a long chat with Apple Support I am assured that this is not so. All legacy plan holders will be automatically updated tomorrow or early next week. So anyone on the current 50GB tariff will migrate to the 200GB plan for around 50% less than they were paying before. There will be a pro-rata adjustment on the previously paid annual subscription.

This solves the conundrum and it is probably best to sit back and wait to see what happens. After the upgrade you can change the plan at any time.

At the moment, with three devices backing up, I am using under 30GB of iCloud storage. But this will change when iCloud Drive comes online in the next few weeks. iCloud will assume much of a versatility of Dropbox and I suspect most users will start to need more storage. 

Apple Watch: Achilles' heel battery life will be its downfall — or will it?

Given the Watch's diminutive size and multi-talented capabilities, once-a-day charging is actually an impressive feat. Unless Apple has surreptitiously managed an overnight revolution in battery technology, I cannot imagine how anyone could have imagined the watch lasting more than one day on a charge.

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Apple truly disrupts the established luxury watch industry

Jony Ive was right when he said that the Swiss watch industry could be in jeopardy. But it isn't only the Swiss industry, it is the entire watch industry. The Apple Watch will do for the watch world what the iPhone did for Nokia and rest of the old dumbphone brigade. Luxury watches have had a good run over the past century and, no doubt, they will continue to sell to connoisseurs who want a faultless piece of jewellery on their wrists. But for the rest of us (and I speak as a former Swiss watch fan and currently IWC owner) the Apple Watch is likely to be the timepiece of choice.

Just as the iPhone showed that the humble phone had much greater potential, the Apple Watch demonstrates just how much more use can be made of the valuable space on the wrist. If it were some cheap, tacky plastic confection we might have some doubts. But the stainless steel or 18-ct gold watch cases with the ability to swap straps for different occasions and activities turns this into an object of real desire. I never thought I would say this, but I can see the Apple Watch supplanting my Swiss timepiece. And I will not be alone. Switzerland does indeed need to start worrying. 

An 18ct gold Apple Watch. What next?

In all the rumours, no one suggested the Apple Watch would come in 18ct gold. This, together with the other editions and the interchangeable strap concept is a real winner. Now we know what all those new recruits from the Swiss watch industry and the luxury goods manufacturers have been doing since they joined Apple. As Jony Ive is reported to have said has week, the Swiss watch industry is in trouble. Too right. 

Will it soon be illegal to look at your watch while driving?

The Apple Watch is so capable that the implications for drivers will soon have to be faced. Already using a phone (or, if we want to be extreme, an iPad) while behind the wheel is considered anti-social and downright dangerous. But up to now glancing at the wrist watch has been a fairly harmless occupation. No longer, I suspect. The Apple Watch opens up the full range of communications possibilities with the corresponding dangers that will come from distraction. It will be interesting to see how governments and road-safety experts react to this latest advance in technology. 

Apple Pay is iWallet and it is about to cause a revolution

Apple Pay is the long-awaited mobile payment system from Apple. The new iPhones will have NFC included to enable simple touch and pay. Security and privacy are guaranteed and there is no gathering of information by Apple. The retailer does not see your name, credit card and security details and each transaction is authorised with a unique on-time number. Initially, Apple Pay will work with the three major credit card companies, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. 

Online purchasing will be made more secure with one-touch checkout, no card number entry and no sharing of credit card information with the retailer. 

This is a revolutionary application and, potentially, of far greater importance than the new iPhones, the forthcoming wearable technology.