I'm not becoming an expert in the new iPhones


As I mentioned, I was in transit across the continental United States on Tuesday, the day of Apple’s big event.

I found I actually wasn’t too disappointed to miss it. Apple events are enjoyable to experience real-time whilst everyone else on Twitter is watching, but generally they boil down to a lot of showmanship and some hard facts. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the energy surrounding the thing — only to wonder, later, “what actually was new or exciting there?”

Each event quickly coalesces into a few meme-like data points: the new Mac Pro looks like a trash can, “Mavericks” not “Sea Lion”, iOS 7 is transparent, what was the deal with those race car guys? This time around I managed to inadvertently miss almost all the talking-points, only learning (in a Wendy’s off I-94) that the case on the new 5c apparently wasn’t thought out very well:

Whoops.

Here are the main bullet points as I see them, two days after the event.

  • The iPhone 5c is the “new iPhone”

    • it’s plastic and colorful

    • it’s not cheap (just cheaper)

  • The 5s is an improved 5 with

    • a new color (gold)

    • a fingerprint sensor

    • a better camera

    • a new 64-bit chip, the A7

    • a coprocessor, the M7, which helps the A7 out with collecting motion data

Apple coverage, being on such a universal subject, comes in many different flavors. There’s a giant swathe of it which I don’t pretend to understand — almost all of the popular press — which berates Apple and preaches doom and gloom no matter what happens. I only come in contact with that second hand, through The Macalope.

There’s a baffling subculture that manages to get millions of words daily out of the stock price. I can’t think of many things about Apple that interest me less than the stock price.

What’s left is generally what I read up on: either genuine critique of Apple or excitement about its products. I usually keep up this pretty well. It entertains me, makes me think, and I’d like to see Apple products continue to improve. I make an effort to pick out the articles from my feeds that I want to read carefully as opposed to just skimming. I go back and read them, and I keep my read-later queue down to single digits.

This time around, I think I’m going to let the bullet points be the extent of it, for me. I’ve gathered all the info I really want, and I’ve read a couple of interesting pieces:

…and that’s it. I’m sure there are other worthy chunks of wordage out there. But I’m done looking. For those of us who espouse a kind of minimalist philosophy (and Apple products, because they fit very well into that philosophy) it’s easy enough to prune a lot of areas of our lives: the belongings that we have, our design sense, our writing.

An area that isn’t as easy to keep minimalist is our reading. It creeps in insidiously — the hunger for information, specs, reviews. I could have found myself chomping through hundreds of articles on the new iPhones as they appeared. Instead my enforced wait meant that, when I came to the party late, there was such an overwhelming burden of writing already there I had to pick and choose carefully.

Not knowing the specs of the new iPhone two days ago — it seems asinine to even say it — didn’t negatively affect my life at all. Did I miss anything? Yes, of course! Is that a problem? Turns out it isn’t.

Sometimes it’s good to let some of the dirt fall out of the pan before you pick up the diamonds.