Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Watching Video Will Come To The Apple Watch (Not Just The Ultra)

We will not be like Dick Tracy and do video calls on the Apple Watch any time soon if ever and I’m fine with to given privacy issues - I don’t want or need a camera on my watch. But I would like to be able it watch old Dick Tracy cartoons and the one movie starring Warren Beatty on my Apple Watch. It’s going to happen. And I think it will happen soon. 

Why? Have you seen the screen size of Apple Watch these days? As a proud owner of 44 mm (1.73”) Series 6, the screen is plenty big for my aging eyes  once in a while, some video will play on my watch  it’s small but watchable  in a pinch if you happen to be waiting in line and have a minutes to kill. 

Short form videos would be an excellent example of why we should be allowed to watch videos on the watch.

Folks are are fortunate enough to have the Apple Watch Ultra on their wrists have unanimously noted how big and bright the screen in at 49 mm (1.93”) and a few have even suggested that they would love to watch videos on their Ultra.

There are already ways to watch video on the Apple Watch but it would be great if Apple brings more support to WatchOS. So far, I've only found on one app that lets me watch video. Here is a sample with a Youtube video playing on my watch.

Here are some interesting notes from watching the video on the Apple Watch:
  • It works. It's not too small for general viewing. If there are words or anything that needs to be read, you can forget about it. For that it's too small. 
  • I recall watching video on my iPod. It was not too small then. The screen on the watch is smaller but not by much.
  • It is for a short duration. Some Youtube videos. Short form videos. In fact, I suggest that I am not sure if I will be able to get through a whole sitcom. However, you never know. If you're at the DMV and all you have is your Apple Watch, maybe an episode of The Big Bang Theory might help pass the time.
  • Battery will be an issue. No need to really get into this. I did not watch the Youtube video long enough to see the impact on the battery life. I think it could get ugly. 
  • So will be storage. Apple has not increase the storage of the watch for a while now. The original Apple Watch through the third generation has 8 GB. I recall having to delete a lot of stuff in order to update the OS. Interestingly, the Series 4 was the only one with 16 GB while Series 5 and on has 32 GB. Yeah, that could do for a movie or two but not much more if you have podcasts, music, and apps installed. If Apple eventually go 64 GB, sure why not but that's a lot of apps that currently felt limited. I think it would help to have more map, photos, or other information stored on the watch. With 64 GB, I would want to be able to store and watch videos. Even if I am not watching, if I can listen to the audio, that is fine with me.
  • The video was pretty crisp. Not like watch TV on those old portable TV from the 90s. I had expected that but I was very impressed with the quality despite it being small. 
  • Apple will need to provide a more robust framework for video viewing on the watch. A couple of things will have to happen for this to go forward with official support - the chip in the watch has to be faster and more efficient. I feel the current chip in the Apple Watch will strain to show videos while doing other tasks in the background. 
Only Apple knows if it will bring video watch to the Apple Watch. And if Apple has that on the roadmap, only Apple know when it will make it happen. Meanwhile, there are a lot of folks who are interested in this feature, even now with the current tech in the Apple Watch. 

I have a lot of videos on my Apple TV and iTunes account. I would love to be able to download them and have them readily available to watch or just to listen to the audio in the background. More and more, I am leaving my iPhone at home because my watch is more than enough to allow me to stay in touch with messages, emails, and calls. 

Would be nice to have a few of my videos along with me if I happen to be bored somewhere and having a video to watch would sure help pass the time.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Apple Should "Courageously" Turn the iPhone Into A Full Fledge Computer With Stage Manager

 I want Apple to give me Stage Manager on the iPhone when I connect it to a TV/monitor via Airplay or cable. I know that Apple probably will never go this route because I would love it if Apple makes the iPhone the everything device for us mobile users - including individuals and companies as well.

To do this it'll take something former Apple VP Phill Schiller said, "courage". When he famously said the word "courage" in front of a crowd for the iPhone 7 unveiling when Apple "courageously" removed the headphone jack. 

Now, it is time for Apple to be courageous again - the low hanging branches of mobile features for Apple is slowly harder and harder to come by. We can expect better camera year after year but other than that, what revolutionary features can we expect. In the past, I have written about health features that Apple can add to the iPhone, turning it into a medical tricorder if both doctors Leonard McCoy and Beverly Crush would approve of. That's another post that I will eventually visit again. 

One feature that Apple can bring to the iPhone that will provide a greater impetus for users to upgrade their iPhone in a regular basis is to bring Stage Manager to a sufficiently powerful enough iPhone.

In the age of "quiet quitting" and "lying flat" in China, maybe you think that users would not want to take their iPhone back home to plug into a monitor or TV to start working again. I'm not talking about those folks. In fact, I'm a fan of quiet quitting. As an employee, I'll do my best in the time that I have at work. But paying me for forty hours of work and trying to get my to work sixty to eighty hours a week just is not right. As am employer (which I am not), I would not expect people who work for me to put in more time than what I pay them. It just is not fair. But this too is another blog post entirely.

I'm talking about people like me who use their iPhones for social connection and recreation but someone who create contents on it as well. Imagine an iPhone with M3 chip that allows me to not only crush my opponents in RPG games or watching videos on Apple TV but also lets me connect to a monitor that turns the iPhone into a computer that lets me use desktop class apps with Stage Manager implementation. I add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and I'm off to the races - writing, drawing, or churning out videos for Youtube. 

Of course, you're thinking why would Apple do this - wouldn't this cannibalize iPads and perhaps even Mac sales? Perhaps. But if the Stage Manager enabled iPhone is only available for the iPhone Pro Max, it would tip iPhone sales towards the high end - generating more revenues and profits. Most content creators and professionals would still opt for the Mac. There is no question about that. 

Some iPad sales might be cannibalized by an iPhone Pro Max but iPad users who want the bigger screens on the go, including myself, would still get an iPad. As the years go by and Stage Manager improves, the line between iPad Pro and the Mac will blur even further - cannibalization between the two classes of Apple products is inevitable. With a Stage Manger enabled iPhone, Apple is simply adding another premium product to the mix.

I know this is probably too soon for it to happen because Stage Manager is so early in its development and there are a lot of new features, bugs, quirks, and input from users in the coming upgrades for Apple to add, fix, and think about in general. Even once Apple get to a point where it is satisfied with Stage Manager implementation, it should naturally come to the high end iPhones.

Breaking down the iPhone to its most essential element - it is a computer. Steve Jobs said computers are like the bicycle for the mind. Think of Stage Manager on the iPhone as the next natural step in the evolution of that bike - a motorized bike that takes mobile computing and creative endeavors to the next level.

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