Apple’s satellite of love and AR/VR move

TechRepublic’s Clarence Reynolds spoke to Tamara Scott, senior managing editor for TechRepublic, and Kaiti Norton, HR editor for TechnologyAdvice, about Apple’s Fall 2022 event. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Image: Mackenzie Burke

Tamara Scott: I love the Apple event. It’s such a showcase for them. It gives them a chance to not only introduce their new technology and all of the cool things that go into it. It also gives them a chance to showcase their advertising and the things that we love from Apple, which is the design, the beautiful images and the whole presentation. When you open that box from Apple, you get a presentation, and these events are like that, but just for the eyes.

Katie Norton: Last time we did one of these roundtables during WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), I made a comment about how these events after the pandemic are becoming live again, and I know that this was technically a live event. They had an entire audience there with journalists. It’s interesting that they’ve stuck with this really highly produced video format that is really engaging for all of us at home as well.

I’ve also been watching these Apple events for a really long time, and when it was fully in person — people, Tim Cook or whoever would come out on stage and showcase the new products — I always kind of felt a little FOMO (fear of missing out), like I wanted to be there. I really like that they’ve kind of kept with this trend of having fully produced video that we can enjoy just like we were there.

Clarence Reynolds: It almost had a little story arc. It was very interesting. Let’s talk about the main reason why we are actually watching these events, and that’s because of the new toys and features that Apple always announces. What caught your eye?

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Katie Norton: First and foremost, I was mostly excited for the emergency satellite service. I have always had a fear of hiking or camping or being out in the wilderness where I don’t have access to the hospital close by, or there’s an emergency, and I need someone to help if something were to go wrong. That was really like, okay, now is my time to go out on a hike, because that is so cool that you don’t even need to have cell towers nearby, and it tells you exactly where to point your phone.

Tamara Scott: I come from a family of triathletes and long distance runners, and so the Apple Watch Ultra was really interesting to me because my family ends up using garment watches because they have that three-day battery life that’s going to take them through an Iron Man competition. . I think that Apple Watch Ultra is a marriage of ultra athletes’ needs and also of the business person’s want for connectivity. So, giving all the amazing Apple Watch features that we really love, including the handoff for messages, but also the durability and that extra battery life really comes in handy for those long distance runners or scuba divers. That was really cool too.

Clarence Reynolds: Let’s talk about the main reason most people talk about or watch this event. It is because of the new iPhone, and this year they announced the soon-to-be released iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. What features did you take note of and how does this phone compare to the iPhone 13?

Tamara Scott: I was really interested to see how the technology that Apple announced during WWDC would carry over for the iPhone 14. And I think that a lot of the features, the dynamic island in particular kind of spoke to that and gave us a sense of how Apple is moving towards that sort of AR/VR (augmented reality and virtual reality) technology. Some of the technology that they put forth at WWDC, like the ability to customize your home screen by cutting out an image, that is going to be showcased on these new always-on lock screens and things like that. I think watching the evolution of the technology and how it is moving towards AR/VR immersion in our lives is really interesting.

Katie Norton: I got the iPhone 13 at the beginning of this year. And to be quite honest, looking at the new iPhone 14, I don’t really notice a ton of difference. Maybe the camera’s a little bit better, and that was really cool to see how they were talking about professional videography and how, action shots that a bulky professional camera might not be able to get as easily, they can do it so quickly with the same quality on an iPhone.

How that translates to everyday users, I don’t know. I’m happy with my iPhone 13, so I don’t know if I’ll be upgrading anytime soon, but it’s obviously very cool to think about what this iteration will mean for the next iteration. And when we get to iPhone 22 down the line, looking back at this and thinking, “Oh, we had these rudimentary tools.”

Clarence Reynolds: With all of that said, was there anything at the Apple event that seemed kind of lackluster and/or was there an announcement that you were looking forward to but was not mentioned?

Katie Norton: Speculation always surrounds these events. I’d seen a few articles that were talking about the new iPad and what could potentially be coming for that. And so I’ll be interested to see if they have a separate smaller event for those kinds of announcements. But they always leave you hanging.

Tamara Scott: There have been rumors for years about the AR and VR tech. I thought that with WWDC we were getting closer and closer to that. I wrote about this a little bit a few months ago after WWDC, and I don’t think that Apple’s going to release AR glasses until it is a world changing release, until we all get those glasses and realize, “Oh my gosh, how have I lived without this up until now?” But that was more of a pipe dream, hoping that they would release something soon. But it’s looking like it’s still going to be a little while.

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