I’m going to start off by saying that I still very much stand by my opinion that iOS is a great platform. It’s easy to use, it looks good, and I can’t recall a time where an iPhone didn’t last perfectly well through the two years that one would typically expect to keep a smartphone for. I have a lot of love and respect for iOS. What I don’t always have a lot of love for is the iPhone itself – not consistently, anyway.
When it comes to the iPhone 7, which was just announced yesterday, I can’t exactly pinpoint just one thing that I don’t like about it; there are several. I really want to like it, but ultimately I’m feeling disappointed by it. I think those feelings are partially because I’m realizing that Apple isn’t the innovative force that it once was in the industry (which isn’t to say that they can’t eventually bounce back from this, but they’re definitely not as influential as they once were).
The first thing I wasn’t buying into was the whole lack of headphone jack thing. I’ve attempted to come to terms with the fact that the headphone jack was probably not going to be there, but I haven’t been able to accept that it was a good move overall. It was nice of Apple to include both a Lightning-connected headset and the adapter in the box, but I can only imagine how expensive that’s going to be if, God forbid, either one of those things become lost. Apple was also pushing the whole wireless headset thing with their new AirPods, which… alright, they look kinda cool, but they’re completely impractical and way overpriced at $159. Combine that with the fact that they’re Bluetooth headphones and you’ve lost the main reason they decided to switch from the 3.5mm port to Lightning in the first place, which was having a high quality audio experience.
The second thing, which surprised me, was that Apple was delving so deep into their commitment to wireless technology with the AirPods that I was certain this would be the year they would introduce wireless charging in the iPhone. Nope. I get that wireless charging may not be as quick as other methods of charging, but anybody who has ever encountered problems with their charging port before know that having an alternative method to charge their phone would have been extremely useful. If Apple is going to embrace anything wireless, I hope they take to wireless charging next year.
And then there’s the whole 32GB base storage thing. I should be excited. I’ve been against its 16GB base model for a few years now, but I think they’ve also missed the 32GB train. A 64GB base tier would have been impressive. 32GB is no longer impressive. It’s permissible, and only because it’s coming from Apple.
Otherwise, the iPhone 7 still has its good qualities. The A10 Fusion processor seems promising, and Apple was able to increase its battery life by 1-2 hours depending on which model you’re considering. If you’re one to spring for one of the higher models, you get a good deal with the 128 or 256GB models (but the base tier should still, in my opinion, be 64GB). The design has been tweaked slightly so that the antenna lines only skirt around the edges of the phone, and the iPhone 7 is now waterproof and dustproof with IP67 certification. The cameras on both sides and both the 7 and 7 Plus have received considerable upgrades as well. On top of all that, the phone showcases Apple’s newest iOS 10 on some of Apple’s best hardware for the OS.
I guess I’m only disappointed because I used to expect big things from Apple – really big things that made sense. But I’m not sold on the removal of the headphone jack. I’m not excited about 32GB anymore, Apple or not. I’m disappointed that Apple still doesn’t embrace wireless charging. I pretty much expected all of this beforehand, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the days where I was positively jazzed to see what Apple came up with next. Honestly, I think the best thing to come from the iPhone 7 was Apple’s decision to increase the base tier storage in the iPhone 6S to 32GB, as well as the subsequent price drop of last year’s iPhone - although there seems to be a couple of really good deals out for the iPhone 7 from T-Mobile and Sprint.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the iPhone 7? Are you happy with Apple’s latest iPhone, or were you hoping to see something different? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!