A big day for Apple over in Cupertino California. Apple Bytes 10/9/19 is our curated version of all the Apple news on iPhone 11, Watch Series 5, TV, Arcade, iPad more.

GadgetGuy’s Apple aficionado and adherent Val Quinn was over at the Steve Jobs Theatres in Cupertino launch after a hectic few days at IFA in Berlin then flying over the Atlantic – several days of fun and frolic – not.

He will report in more depth on his return. Meanwhile, you can catch his Sunrise segment here.

As is characteristic, there was a 1:41:43 video podcast that Apple masochists can delight in watching later.

iPhone 11 (good), iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Proving that iPhone X really was a 10 now we have the 11-series. Val Quinn was over there and reports on his first impressions and specifications. His take – great new camera and more refinement and evolution of the iPhone X – not the radical 5G redesign Apple aficionados may have been hoping for.

Apple

Watch series 5

The main difference is its always-on low-temperature polysilicon and oxide (LTPO) OLED),  display that automatically dims to conserve battery life and springs back with a tap or wrist raise. It should give up to 18 hours use.

Apple

It now has an e-compass and new maps that orient in the direction you are facing.

Emergency calling now works everywhere without a Telco plan, and improved fall detection can automatically place an emergency call if Apple Watch senses the user has taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.

Watch OS 6 has new health and fitness features as well as a menstrual cycle tracking feature. It will be rolled out to previous Watch series – not all features have support.

There is a new Titanium case model that is lighter and stronger than stainless steel. It comes in space black titanium achieves its deep colour from a diamond-like coating (DLC).

Apple Watch Studio: Gives customers in-store or online the opportunity to pick their preferred case and band combination to create a look that is uniquely their own.

Compared to Series 3 it has

  • 44/40mm case with 977/759mm2 display area (42/38 case with 740/563mm2)
  • Always-on display
  • 10.7mm thin (11.4)
  • Electric heart sensor (EKG)
  • Second-gen optical heart rate sensor
  • eCompass
  • Fall detection (32 g-force) and emergency calling (16 g-force and emergency SOS only)
  • 64-bit S5 processor (S3 processor)
  • Digital Crown with haptic feedback (digital crown only)
  • Titanium, Hermes and Nike models (Nike only)
  • 50% louder speaker
  • W3 wireless chip (W2)
  • 32GB (8/16GB)
  • BT 5.0 (BT 4.2)

Price: There are 40/44mm cases and LTE and/or Wi-Fi models with a wide variety of bands.

  • Space Grey/Silver/Gold Aluminium and sports band from $649
  • Gold Stainless Steel and sports loop from, $1099
  • Space Black stainless steel and leather from $1259
  • Titanium from $1.419
  • Nike from $649
  • Hermes from $1,999
  • Apple Watch 3 series has reduced from $319

iPad 10.2”

With a larger 10.2-inch Retina display, A10 Fusion chip,  Apple pencil and support for the full-sized Smart Keyboard at $549 (options extra). The 4G version is $729.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing, said

Apple

“The new iPad feature a bigger 10.2-inch Retina display, support for Apple Pencil and for the first time, the full-size Smart Keyboard. It runs iPadOS, which introduces new ways to multitask, manage and mark up documents, use Apple Pencil and view more information at a glance on a redesigned Home screen.”

 Brief specs

  • 10.2” 2160 x 1620, 264pi, 500 nits
  • 32GB or 128GB
  • Supports Apple Pencil Gen 1 $145
  • Smart Keyboard is $235 (uses the smart connector on landscape side)
  • LTE and/or Wi-Fi AC Dual-band MIMO – LTE is data only but supports Wi-Fi calling – uses an eSIM
  • BT 4.2
  • 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5mm x 483/493g
  • Dual speakers and microphones
  • Lighting connector
  • Rear camera: 8MP, f/2/4 camera, [email protected]
  • FaceTime camera: 1.2MP, f/2.2, 720p recording (Touch ID not Face ID)
  • Digital compass and GPS
  • Apple Pay support (not general NFC support)
  • 32.4W battery for up to 9-10 hours use

Price (note a trade-in program is available)

  • 32/128GB Wi-Fi $529/689
  • LTE model $729/889
  • AppleCare+ add $99

Apple TV+ at $7.99 a month from 1 November

Apple’s video streaming service starts 1 November. It is available on Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms (LG, Samsung and others that support AirPlay 2) or via Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

Apple TV+

Customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac have one year free of Apple TV+. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription.

Apple TV+ originals from the world’s most celebrated creative artists will debut on the Apple TV app on 1 November:

  • “See,” an epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.
  • “Morning Wars,” a cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning.
  • “Dickinson,” a darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.
  • “For All Mankind,” a new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centrepiece of America’s hopes and dreams.
  • “Helpsters,” a new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
  • “Snoopy in Space,” a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
  • “Ghostwriter,” a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
  • “The Elephant Queen,” an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.
  • Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.
  • More Apple TV+ originals will be added to the Apple TV app each month, including:
  • “Servant,” a new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
  • “Truth Be Told,” a gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.
  • “Little America,” inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, brings to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.
  • “The Banker,” a feature film inspired by a true story, stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas. Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult also star.
  • “Hala,” a feature film and official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service $7.99 per Month on 20 September

Users get unlimited access to the entire catalogue of over 100 new, exclusive games, all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. Apple Arcade is launching with a one-month free trial, and users will not find the games on any other mobile platform or subscription service. Apple Arcade games can all be played offline, and a single subscription includes access for up to six family members with Family Sharing. The catalogue will exceed 100 games in the coming weeks as new titles are introduced, with more games to come every month. Apple Arcade will be available on 1 October on iPadOS and tvOS 13 and in October on macOS Catalina.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said

Apple Arcade

“We are so excited to launch Apple Arcade on the App Store. A curated selection of over 100 new and exclusive games from many of the most innovative game developers in the world is the perfect complement to the App Store’s existing massive catalogue of games. We think customers of all ages are going to be delighted that a single subscription gives the whole family unlimited access to the full catalogue of amazing Apple Arcade games, all without any ads or additional purchases, while knowing every game must meet Apple’s high privacy standards.”

New Games

Some of the titles debuting on Apple Arcade include:

  • “Ballistic Baseball” from Gameloft, is an action-packed arcade baseball game that captures the intense battle between pitcher and batter in live head-to-head multiplayer matches.
  • “ChuChu Rocket! Universe” explodes as Sega launches the beloved ChuChus into a universe of strange and wonderful planets with over 100 mind-bending puzzles.
  • “Exit the Gungeon” from Devolver, players must escape a collapsing hell dungeon as increasingly perilous obstacles, and opponents stand in their way.
  • “Overland” from Finji, is a post-apocalyptic road trip adventure where players fight dangerous creatures, rescue stranded travellers and scavenge for supplies to survive.
  • “PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE” from Bandai Namco, is a brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.
  • “Projection: First Light” from Blowfish, players follow the adventures of Greta, a girl living in a mythological shadow puppet world as she embarks on a journey of self-enlightenment, helped by legendary heroes from ancient cultures along the way.
  • “Rayman Mini” from Ubisoft, Rayman has been reduced to the size of an ant! Players use insects, mushrooms and plants to run through the world as quickly as possible or try over and over again to achieve the perfect score.
  • “Shantae and the Seven Sirens” from WayForward, players explore a vast sunken city and battle the Seven Sirens in the Half-Genie’s most thrilling adventure yet.
  • “Skate City” from Snowman brings the heart and soul of street skating to life with multi-touch controls as city streets become the ultimate skater playground.
  • “Sneaky Sasquatch” from RAC7, players live the life of a Sasquatch and do regular, everyday Sasquatch stuff like sneaking around in disguise, raiding coolers and picnic baskets, playing golf and more.
  • “Steven Universe: Unleash the Light,” is an original Cartoon Network game, co-written by Rebecca Sugar, where players pick their favourite characters, choose which Gems are in their party, unlock awesome new abilities and equip alternate costumes in the ultimate mobile role-playing game (RPG).
  • “Super Impossible Road” from Rogue Games, is a futuristic, high-speed racing game where players master hairpin turns on courses that twist and coil over beautiful galactic backdrops.
  • “The Bradwell Conspiracy” from Bossa, is a beautifully stylised conspiracy adventure thriller with a humorous twist.“The Enchanted World” from Noodlecake, players help a young fairy piece together a magical world torn apart by dark forces.
  • “Various Daylife” from Square Enix, is a brand-new RPG from the creators of “Bravely Default” and “Octopath Traveler.” In the year 211 of the Imperial Era, players explore a newly discovered continent while living life to the fullest in the city of Erebia.

Apple Arcade will be available via a new tab on the App Store for A$7.99 per month and is launching with a one-month free trial. The subscription will automatically renew at the end of the one-month free trial until cancelled.

GadgetGuy’s take – money-making services and minor hardware updates

The iPhone 11 series offers no compelling reason for recent iPhone users to update. Sure, these have a better camera and more power than the iPhone X series. But Apple users are a relatively happy lot. Whether they are using an iPhone 6 or later they will get iOS 13 anyway. Lack of features found on Samsung, LG, Huawei and OPPO will do nothing to stem the iPhone’s plummeting sales figures. Frankly, I don’t see the iPhone 11 reversing that trend.

I suspect the laser-like ‘business-focus’ of CEO Tim Cook is wringing every ounce of economy out of the iPhone manufacturing cycle in anticipation of a revolutionary and costly 5G iPhone 12 in 2020.

The Apple Watch 5 has some new features that may make those buying an Apple Watch select it over Series 3. But the fact is that for 99% of us, the Series 3 is more than adequate and new pricing makes it very attractive.

Tim Cook is pinning Apple’s future on services. In June at Apple WWDC we saw announcements about Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade – these are just confirmation of start dates.

While it is good to see the Apple ecosystem is not standing still, perhaps it is not moving fast enough to regain Apple’s position as the second-largest smartphone maker (lost to Huawei last year). Shame that!