Apple Event Live Blog September 19 2014

In which I sit in my office in Seattle, watch the Apple live stream and comment on it:

  • 10:04am PDT
  • I still see the test pattern and schedule. This never would have happened when Steve Jobs was Alive.
  • 10:06am
  • Time Cook is on, and then the bars come back…
  • 10:08am
  • Ok, its working again…and fail.
  • 10:11am
  • It is working again, for now…
  • Bigger phones, um, hooray? I guess.
  • Phil is talking about % more pixels. Lame…
  • Now he’s finally talking about why that matters: two up view.
  • Thinner is good though, I guess, as long as it feels solid.
  • What is with the translation track?
  • And the stream breaks again…
  • Something about apps taking advantage of larger displays.
  • Desktop-class scaler?
  • 10:24, it is working again…
  • New M8 co-processor.
  • Distance and elevation estimation.
  • Ok, so, I do want one, just to be clear. My iPhone 4s seems a little too old now.
  • 10:28am
  • Cameras
  • Hmm. Focus pixels?…   Phase detection autofocus!!! Fast autofocus!  YES I MUST HAVE THIS!
  • Something about the macro mode that I didn’t catch.
  • 10:34am
  • Apple broke the internet.
  • 120 or 240fps video. Sweet
  • Continuous focus for video…
  • 10:36am
  • More stream breakage
  • 64GB for the mid-range for $299 on contract!  Yay
  • $100 for thoe the 6plus
  • Steady incremental improvement can really add up. I was pretty “meh” leading up to this event. I felt the same way when it started, but everything adds up.
  • The payment stuff seems pretty important, especially the API…
  • One more thing…
  • It would be really really awsome if it isn’t a watch.
  • Its a new planet!
  • And the space ship that will get you there
  • No, it really is a watch…
  • I must say, it looks really cool…
  • …for a watch.
  • I’m so over watches…
  • At least I thought I was…
  • For 10-15 years…
  • At least it isn’t called iWatch.
  • The personal touch stuff is really interesting…
  • I wonder if 3rd party developers will be able to create “watch face” apps.
  • I look forward to the bio-mimetic bands for the next version.
  • They will graft themselves into your skin.
  • Or rather, your skin will incorporate them.
  • This is a long-ass video.
  • Why does Kevin Lynch seem familiar…
  • He’s the former Adobe Flash Evangelist
  • Gruber called him a bad hire for Apple…
  • Coldplay?  What a fucking bozo.
  • 3rd party dev support sounds pretty good.
  • I’m running out of steam here…
  • I wonder how the Apple watch works when you don’t have your phone with you?
  • The live stream was working so well, until, another fail.
  • So, if Apple Pay is built into Apple watch, and Apple watch works with many versions of iPhone, plus all the accessories, Apple has multiple revenue streams for the Apple watch. I wonder if the pricing will be subsidized.

The Sorry State of Thunderbolt Peripherals

In theory, Thunderbolt is awesome, one tiny port that can be used to connect monitors, GPUs, high speed storage and other peripherals to laptops and desktop computers.  What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, Thunderbolt peripherals are slow to arrive on the scene.  Apple released their first computers with Thunderbolt ports over a year ago. To compliment them, they released the gorgeous and expensive Thunderbolt display.

Don’t get me wrong, the Apple Thunderbolt display is a perfect demonstration of why Thunderbolt is so cool. The display has one cable with two connectors, a magsafe connector to power an Apple laptop, and a Thunderbolt connector.  The display itself is gorgeous, includes speakers and a webcam, and it expands that single Thunderbolt connection into gigabit ethernet, three USB2 ports, a FireWire 800 port, and another Thunderbolt port that you can use to attach another Thunderbolt display, or a mini-DisplayPort adapter. Awesome!


On the other hand, it is $999. That is by no means a bad price for a great 27″ high resolution display, but I’m happy with the 24″ display I already have and in no hurry to replace it. But then there is mess. Ugh! I’d love to reduce that mess down to a power cable and a Thunderbolt cable.

In theory, I should be able to buy a docking station. In practice only Belkin and Matrox have even announced Thunderbolt docking stations, but neither of them are shipping, and when they do, they are expected to run $250 – $500.

Apple had a one-year exclusive on offering Thunderbolt ports on their computers. Now that that has ended, I hope we’ll see more competition, but it may take a while. NewEgg only has ~5 motherboards with Thunderbolt ports right now. A bigger issue though may be that so far, Intel is keeping a tight reign on the chips required to interface with Thunderbolt.

I’d be quite happy with a simple device that connected to a Thunderbolt port and provided USB3 ports and DisplayPort connection. I could hang USB ethernet and audio adapters off of that.