Strictly speaking, you could wait as long as you like: it’s less that there was anything so compelling that you must wait for it, more that what was announced is much better than what you’d get in the shop yesterday.
You can’t get any of the new products today, nor really tomorrow either. But from Friday 9 September you can pre-order the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Usually I twitch if I don’t immediately tell you a price but with phones it’s complicated: many or most people buy them subsidised on a contract and not always predictably so. But as a quick guide, whatever you would’ve paid for an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus on Monday, that’s what you’ll pay for the 7 range from Friday.
From a productivity perspective, the significant improvements are in the battery life, performance and also capacity. In reverse order, the old small 16Gb model is no more and this can only be good. Then performance is fast. Faster than last time. Do you like the level of detail you’re getting here? And lastly the battery life is claimed to be two hours longer, on average, for the iPhone 7 and one hour longer on the iPhone 7 Plus.
There is also a radically improved camera which doesn’t happen to make much difference to what I work on but your mileage may be very improved.
Have a look at the official Apple site for all the details I’ve skimped on, all the other details I’ve skipped, and also the changes to the Apple Watch. I am placing a call to Ms Bank Manager and Mr Claus in order to get myself a jet black iPhone 7 Plus and a ceramic Apple Watch Series 2 but the big advantage in the new Watch is coming to the old one too. The Apple Watch on my wrist is already improved because I’ve been testing watchOS 3 which will be released in public shortly and genuinely makes the watch feel like new.
The new Series 2 Watch appears to be faster and to have a brighter screen: I’m not fussed about the screen, the old one is fine. But you know how it is with Apple gear: if it doesn’t look great in the demos, it does when you hold it in your hand.
Could be. First the feature, then why it’s useless:
[Jony Ive says] Just yesterday, somebody was saying, ‘Wow, do you know what I just did? I set the alarm in the morning, and it woke just me by tapping my wrist. It didn’t wake my wife or my baby,’” he recounted. “Isn’t that fantastic?”
It is fantastic and it would make my getting up hours before Angela that much easier. So far, so Apple.
It’s beyond likely that the Apple Watch will need charging up every night. Maybe I’m jaded because I’ve had problems with the ordinary alarm on my iPhone, but I think this is going to be a feature that has to wait for better battery technology than currently exists.
Wall Huggers we’re called and wall huggers we are. Mind you, before mobile phones I was always developing that second sense that tells you where you are most likely to find a mains socket. But for those times when you can’t plug in to an outlet, there is now this:
This interactive guide shows you how to make the most of your phone’s battery life. Just choose the make and model of your phone from the drop-down menu and learn how to stay juiced.
I know barely a pixel more than this: an iPhone recharger that uses AA batteries is coming soon. I don’t think I need to know much more than that, though the price and whether it’ll be available in the UK would be handy.
Here’s the pixel more I know; there will be a launch in nine days time at Oivo.
Go take a look now because the minimal details available so far include a photo of what it’ll look like.
I should say, by the way, that I think there is bugger-all chance that this will also recharge an iPad. In case you were wondering.
Check your hire car’s radio. If it has an a USB socket for playing music via your iPhone, it will also charge the phone. Not much. But enough.
The ideal is for you to have an adaptor that plugs into the cigaratte lighter but – no, actually, the ideal is for batteries to last longer but if wishes were horses we’d all be in the supermarket meat trade. If you don’t have an adaptor and you do have a low battery, the radio trick will work.
I just did this in France, driving about four hours with my iPhone on the red-line 5% battery level. At the end of it, when I peeled myself out of the car and slithered across the pavement like all my muscles had been erased, the iPhone was still at the 5% redline.
But it had worked as my GPS SatNav all the way.
So it’s not like you’re going to get a lot of power out of this radio USB connector. But you’ll get enough.
This has just started raising money on IndieGoGo – Uiee is a small battery charger for topping up phones. It looks like a roll of tape but I think its biggest advantage is that distinctive shape and unmissable bright colour. I have a small slate-gray Mophie Juice Pack which I’ve actually forgotten to pack because a) it blended in with my desk and 2) I’m stupid. I don’t see Uiee fixing the latter, but it could help a lot with the former.
Mophie’s Juice Packs do charge you more in both senses: they has more power in it for topping up your phone and they do cost more. Uiee looks like it will retail for $50 US (no UK pricing yet that I know) where I spent around $80 on the particular Mophie I bought. (Have a look at the range of Mophie battery chargers on Amazon UK, Amazon US). When I got my Mophie, it was able to recharge my iPhone twice over; now, about two years later, it’s down to doing a little under once. Uiee claims to top up your iPhone by 55% so that’s a lot less than a full charge but it’ll add hours to your working day.
I knew these, I already do these and I still have a howling yearning for longer battery life on my iPhone. But if you’re not already doing these, take a look at this video from Cult of Mac about quick ways to save juice:
You have to be in France. You have to be a manager there, too, because ordinary workers can lump it: if your boss needs you to answer your emails all day and night, you’ll answer them or else. But if a French plan to protect stressed bosses works, it will logically help everyone. Follow. When your boss is not allowed to go on email in the evenings then he or she can’t be emailing you anything. Everybody wins.
In many jobs, work email doesn’t stop when the employee leaves the office. And now France has decided to act. It has introduced rules to protect about a million people working in the digital and consultancy sectors from work email outside office hours. Those are taken to be before 9am and after 6pm. The deal signed between employers federations and unions says that employees will have to switch off work phones and avoid looking at work email, while firms cannot pressure staff to check messages.
Michel de La Force, chairman of the General Confederation of Managers, has said that “digital working time” would have to be measured. Some emailing outside of office hours would be allowed but only in “exceptional circumstances”.
I’m more sympathetic to this idea that I might have been before. I used to live by the bleep of my incoming emails and now I’ve switched it all off. Almost all. Certain people’s emails make a bleep but the majority don’t. And I switched off push notifications too. Suddenly my battery life is longer and I am able to concentrate on more work because I just don’t get interrupted so often.