Well, well, well. Apple, Inc., a cash-hoarding operation that occasionally does online strip shows, announced a new line of consumer electronics today. There are places to revel in the minutia of every last tech spec, but I promise that you are not interested in processors and megapixels nearly as much as the tech bros think you are. So what do you actually need to know?
Mario is on the iPhone now. That’s basically it. If you really must know more, there is a total of like, two or three things you actually need to know about this phone, and a few others that are mildly interesting.
The main thing you should know about the iPhone 7 is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. Headphones will use the Lightning port (which you use to charge the phone) or wireless technology. This seems inconvenient! Expecting this reaction, Apple prepared three (3) reasons why this is actually a good idea. Here is the first:
It really comes down to one word. Courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.
Criminy! Lots of things that take courage are self-evidently pointless, like swiping one of those group-sex cards on Tinder, or treating late-stage pancreatic cancer with a bowl of fruit and a juice cleanse.
The real argument for the change is that Apple needs extra room inside the phone to add other, cooler shit, shit that makes the phone more convenient. Right now, the most convenient thing I can think of after looking at the stupid adapter is that a tiny component in the phone may let me use my headphones without it. I’m sure people who aren’t morons will think of better ones, eventually (like maybe how to charge the phone and listen to music at the same time?). This will be Fine as soon as headphone makers are corralled onto Apple’s proprietary standard, and it had to happen eventually, but it’s a pain in the ass right now, which I guess is the point.
Anyway, here’s the sexy, sexual adapter:
Dammit. It’s going to be all stiff and not bendy and I’ll hate it. (It also runs a risk of putting too much stress on the port if you jam it in your pocket at a weird angle, but I care much less about potentially critical damage than I do about low-frequency annoyance in my day-to-day, because I’m an idiot.) The adapter comes free in the box with the iPhone, but there should be at least 10 of the fuckers in there for how quick you’re going to lose them.
Apple’s third reason, insanely enough, was that it’s got cool wireless headphones on the way. And holy shit, they cost $160! For Apple earbuds that will make your small children poke out their eardrums! They’re called AirPods but even that sounds like the basketball-playing dog!
Earbuds that use wireless tech are a fine enough proposition, just not from Apple. The last time Apple promised better sound from its shitty earbuds, it went from making the worst headphones on the planet to making merely bad ones that still fell out of your ears. Maybe these will rise to the level of mediocre (and still fall out of your ears)? But yes, please, let’s entrust the company that’s been shipping wads of soggy toilet paper glued to an aux cable for the last 15 years with the future of headphone technology because they bought Dr. Dre a new wardrobe.
This is unassailably good. Moving on.
The cheapest iPhone is (almost) fine now
For a long time, Apple was a real son-of-a-bitch and sold 16GB iPhones for hundreds of dollars even though the state of modern digital communion makes that laughably small for even the most austere mobile user. Now the smallest capacity iPhone is 32GB, with its bigger counterparts jumping to 128GB and 256GB. 32GB is much better than 16GB — better than twice as good, since the ~16GB you’re gaining isn’t eaten up by the firmware footprint — but still small enough to scratch another $100 out of the people who know better and basically fuck over the ones who don’t.
The home button doesn’t click anymore. It’s not really a button, it’s just pressure-sensitive and sends a vibration back to you when you press it. Sure, whatever.
Realistically, is the new home button going to change anything for you? Maybe. Haptic stuff is generally fine and pleasant and all, but if you double-tap the home button to bring up the multi-task, you’re essentially being coerced to use the 3D touch gesture (pressing real hard on the left edge of the screen) instead. And that’s the theme of this round of updates, really: Deal with it, asshole. Don’t want to get new headphones? You can use this stupid fucking adapter, or you could fall in line and buy some fuckin’ Beats.
Apple obviously thinks 3D Touch is its future, but at least personally, I never used it much, mostly because it shares gestures with other functions (am I pressing hard enough to go to the last app I used, or am i going to go backwards in my browser and have to deal with everything rearranging itself because sweet Christ the mobile web is a nightmare?), but also because usually I just forgot about it.
OK, technically this isn’t new to the iPhone 7, but new iPhones means new iOS. There are more comprehensive previews of the software, but:
Emoji are big now. But you only get three bigmoji before they’re tiny again, which severely limits creativity in eggplant spam.
Other features include being able to draw shit, make macros in the JNCO logo font, and send a wide range of other useless shit that will drain your battery and crash your shit. Hand to heart, the last time I tried to drop a GPS pin in Messages it pasted the location twice, failed to send both, and the phone turned off. I’m sure this will work perfectly, though.
The number of dicks drawn per person will reach an all-time high once Apple releases this software to the world. Look, the worst tech take I’ve ever had—and I’ve had MANY bad ones—was that Touch ID was a dumb gimmick. It’s AMAZING. Things that make things that I do all the time slightly-to-significantly easier are great, as long as they work.
There’s also some smart home automation bullshit for the Angel-funded technofucker crowd that I do not care about.
Overall it seems like a decent update and it will definitely make all of your old devices run like dog shit.
Then there’s the boilerplate. Helpfully, Apple produced a Top 10 features list, but as it includes things like “it has a screen” and “the phone is black” we can skip over some of them.
The new processor is a quad-core, 64-bit number called the “A10 Fusion.” Two of the cores are for performance, and two for battery life. Essentially, this means the phone will recognize when it doesn’t need all of its horsepower and use a lower power state. Apple already does this in its Pro laptops, bouncing between the integrated graphics (powered by your processor) and the discrete graphics card, to sometimes questionable effect. Apparently, this adds two hours of battery life over what you saw from the iPhone 6 and an hour more than the iPhone 6S. (That isn’t so great since the batteries on both, and all iPhones, and most phones in general, deteriorate within a few months and so you're left with a small fraction of the original capacity, but progress is progress I guess. Also, we haven’t heard much about those battery-saving low-power-state secondary processors from last year’s model since then, so I don’t have very high expectations.)
But here’s the thing about battery life promises: They are always lies. Laptops, phones, tablets, smartwatches—none of the batteries last as long as they say they do. The iPhone 7 might have another hour of battery life than the mediocre 6S, but 1. That’s not all that impressive when you’ve dedicated two cores to efficiency and 2. It looks like they used some of the space freed up by the headphone jack’s omission to add a few extra milliamps to the battery since last year. So: It gets slightly more battery life! Because we made these cool processors! … And also because we added slightly more battery. Cool.
There’s also a new camera—there’s always a new camera—and that camera is a little better than the last camera, and has the capacity to do some cool depth-of-field stuff. Maybe you’ll use this! I’ve used the Live Photos bullshit from last year’s update at least twice, usually to see rude angles of unflattering photos. My guess is that advanced photo nerds will whip this out a lot, and casual users will use it whenever they need a new profile pic, but that’s fine.
Apple didn’t say anything about how great the video is on this camera, so I say it’s safe to assume it’s total shit.
Jony Ive is now completely disembodied and narrates over video of the iPhone looking like a big space penis.
All the assholes who signed up for the iPhone-a-year thing get theirs now. Don’t buy a new iPhone every fucking year.
And oh hey, about that black iPhone. They literally just said “yeah it comes in black now” and that is news. That’s wild! “The color black” is Apple’s next big revolution—just not in the C-Suite, right fellas?—and honestly I respect this. These brazen motherfuckers just put a flag in all three primary colors and no one said shit to them. That is some don shit, man.
The iPhone 7 is out Friday, September 16. Pre-order yours this Friday, September 9.
APPLE WATCH: Still Exists, Apparently
Oh ho ho, the picture of your genitals you wrap around your wrist is back. The irony of every Apple Watch update is that the rapid improvements lavished on the shitheels buying these things are inherently damning. You just spent $400 on our piece of shit last year? TOO BAD, SUCKER, GET A LOAD OF THIS.
The new Apple Apple Watch watch is called the Series 2, and it has built-in GPS and is water-resistant. It also has a better processor and a much better screen. You can do some new, just as useless shit on it, like adding confetti to text messages or drawing letters on the watch face to type. The Nike app will send you passive-aggressive messages like “6 days, no runs…” to break you down mentally and render you more easily corrupted. Basically your old Apple watch is dogshit, is the point I think.
Look: GPS is good; better processors are good; all of this stuff is good to have, but does not change the inalienable fact that smartwatches are hyper-luxury items owned by assholes and sycophants.
Honestly, I didn’t really pay much attention to the watch because everything was aimed at the lily-white technocrat shitbags in the room. The only memorable part came just at the end, when the Year 1 watch was getting its routine price-drop, but the Apple bros stopped to let you know that it’s also getting the new processor. This is hilarious! Every year, Apple sells its store of old shit at a discount, on the premise that the old guts are just fine for now but have a marginally shorter lifespan than newer guts. Fuck you, fanboy who feels affronted and has read far down enough here to feel personally put out; I have no problem with you but you know it’s true.
Taking the time and effort to add the new processor to the original before shoveling it down the shitter means Apple is very certain it can’t keep up and people who bought it will soon be well and truly fucked. And that rules.
The Apple Watch Series 2 is available for pre-order Friday, September 9 and in stores September 16.
Kyle Wagner used to work here.