Sunday, June 30, 2024

Even Before iPhone 16 Creating An Upgrade Super Cycle, iPhone 15 Pro Could Get A Boost Because Of Apple Intelligence

Many on Wall Street are salivating about the upcoming iPhone 16 release creating an upgrade super cycle. I do not think we need to come down the the level of a Wall Street analyst to realize that. However, Apple fans who do need an iPhone now and cannot wait, they likely know that they will need to get the iPhone Pro or Pro Max in order to run Apple Intelligence due out this fall with new features trickling out over the rest of 2024 and into 2025. 

For those who do not know about Apple Intelligence, I am sure salespeople will try to upsell the Pro and Pro Max to potential buyers. I think this could be creating an artifical demand for the iPhone 15 Pro and increase the average selling price of the iPhone for the coming quarter. It is something that Wall Street likes because it means higher margin and revenue. 

Of course, this late in the game, you'll want to wait if you can. In a previous post, I am likely going to keep my current iPhone 13 mini because I love the size and it could take a while for Apple Intelligence to come out of beta. Who knows if I'll get lucky or not and Apple bring back the mini capable of running Apple Intelligence.

I'll be honest here - I have Apple stocks. I don't know for sure how many. When you buy shares of ETF, Apple is likely a part of the fund. Certainly not enough to rich. My fortune depends on the wider market in general. For those who own Apple shares directly, I am happy for you. I like hearing stories about how people have done really well in the market (or whatever endevour they are in). A few years and even now, it's Apple. And the last year or two, it has been Nvidia.

As a curiosity, I am wondering if I am right or not. Here is what I found according to the Web:
  • The average selling price of the iPhone was $918 in the June-September quarter for 2023
  • The ASP for the iPhone for Jan-March of 2024 is $970.
  • The ASP for the iPhone for April-June is expected to be down to $900.
Do not trust these features in making any financial decisions. No one really knows out of Apple. I am curious what the number is going to be for July-September quarter of this year. There may only be a few weeks of the iPhone 16 sales depending on when Apple releases the new iPhones. I am going to make a prediction here and suggest that the number is likely going to be closer what we expect the ASP of the iPhone to be during Christmas quarter - $950.

This is reflective what of I think will happen because Apple Intelligence. People will want to future proof their iPhones for AI and for those who need an iPhone now, Apple has only given them the most expensive option available.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

When Will I Be Able To Monitor My Blood Oxygen Level Again With My Apple Watch

During COVID, the blood oxygen monitor app on the Apple Watch was invaluable for me and many others worldwide. It helped with preliminary self-diagnosis at the onset of symptoms and monitored our recoveries. I used it daily to check my lung health. However, I lost access to the app when I took my Apple Watch to the Apple Store for a battery update. My watch battery was down to about 74%, and I often used power-saving or airplane mode to extend its life. When I sent it in, Apple returned a different watch instead of the original.

On the plus side, the new watch had no scratches from my trip to the Grand Canyon, and the battery was back to 100%, making it feel brand new. However, this unit no longer had a working oximeter app.

I wonder when we will get it back. There's not much news, and few seem to be asking about it. I did some research and found that in April, Apple filed an appeal to overturn an International Trade Commission decision (Reuters). Apple argued that Masimo's patent was based on "hypothetical devices" and that the Irvine, California-based company wasn't planning on making devices at all. It seems unlikely that Apple's appeal will succeed.

It's hard to predict what will happen next. Tech companies often release features only to remove them later, usually due to lack of use or replacement with better functions. Many users bought the Apple Watch for the oximeter, so it's an important feature.

Two scenarios might unfold: Apple could continue to fight Masimo up to the Supreme Court, possibly leading to a settlement, or they might reengineer the oximeter with different technology. However, a new oximeter workaround is unlikely to be ready for this year's Apple Watch.

There are growing rumors about a new health feature: blood pressure monitoring. The next Apple Watch may help users monitor changes in their blood pressure trends rather than exact readings.

I believe this would be a significant reason for users to upgrade to the next Apple Watch. I know I will be upgrading, and many others might too. Still, I hope to monitor my blood oxygen levels again.

Monday, June 24, 2024

iPad Pro with M4 and The Small But Vocal Users Who Want to Run MacOS On It

I've ran MacOS on my iPad for a couple of years already through the Jump app. It worked great. In fact, it worked so well that I also got it for the PC at work and I have been using it to remotely work off my laptop whenever I need to. Of course, I used an external keyboard and mouse to get the full experience. Touch works but it was not ideal. So, why are iPad Pro users asking Apple to let them run MacOS or have more Mac like experiences on the iPad when touch and an on screen keyboard just does not provide the same experience as MacBook or the iMac with keyboard and mouse.

I think these users have a point. I got a new MacBook Air last Christmas but if my iPad had more of a desktop experience (windows, true multitasking), I really think I would have a brand new M4 iPad Pro instead of the Air. But there is still a reason why many people buy a laptop than an iPad or Android tablet. The productivity just is not the same. There is a certain methodology and muscle memory that comes with using Windows or Mac laptops for most of my life. For most of the life of many users around the world. I suppose the closest experience to working on an iPad as a laptop full-time are students who use Chrome. It works but something just feels off for the rest of us.

That is not to say that macOS on the iPad is impossible. I imagine that Apple can flip on the switch rather quickly if it decides to make it so. Remember OS X in Intel that had been running in Apple's secret labs for years before Apple made the switch from G4 and G5 to Intel? Course changes at Apple are common occurrences and people forget that. Like a battleship making a turn, it's a long arduous process.  
Moreover, there are a few issues that I think Apple found out about running a full blown desktop on a small enclosed tablet. With the newer, faster, and insanely efficient Apple silicons, I think we are closer than ever to see desktop experiences on the iPad. Imagine if iPadOS allowed users to use Mac apps back in 2018 when the first iPad Pro came on.
  • The apps run slow. And you still cannot multitask well and processes stop when you switch from one app to another. On the Mac, you can edit and process a video and then switch over to the mail app to answer a few emails. On the iPad, the moment you switch apps, the processes on the previous apps go into standby mode.
  • The battery life is sucked dry quickly. I think that is still a concern even with the M series chips today. Apple has kept the iPad battery life around 10 hours. It's amazing how Apple has managed that while iPads are faster and faster. 10 Hours of MacOS on the iPad? That could be a big challenge. So far, these power users who want MacOS experience on the iPad has not mentioned how the battery life might suffer as a result. In fact, on a podcast I listened to, one of the hosts simply suggests that if Apple wanted run MacOS on the iPad and still keep the battery life at 10 hours, it could do it. I suggest that host get a MacBook instead. 
  • Users would have more reasons to complain. Why has Apple not updated MacOS to the touch interface if they were for years that the MacOS would run on a touch interface? And this would be a complaint after Apple says that the iPad Pro would be turned into a MacBook only with the Magic Keyboard. People will complain and I imagine the people who designated themselves as "Apple Watchers" will be among the first. Some will be reasonable and suggest that Apple did tell them that they would need a keyboard and a mouse.
  • Just as some reviewers complain that the MacBook still comes with 8 GB of RAM, they will complain about the same issue with the iPad Pro running MacOS coming with only 8 GB of RAM.
There are times when I do want to be able to perform some tasks that I find cumbersome on the iPad. And Stage Manager takes a bit of getting used to. It still has a long way to go and coming from someone who has decades of muscle memories of working with the traditional desktop of windows, I do not know if Stage Manger will ever "get there" for me. I've been trying it on the MacBook and I find Stage Manager confusing a at times and wonder what purpose it serves. I think I will spend more time on it in the coming weeks and see if I can gain the muscle memory to use it more efficiently. It is doubtful though. I can only use it on my MacBook where instinctively gravitate towards 

So, will the iPad Pro ever run MacOS? At this point, I rather that Apple wait to improve the iPadOS and make it closer to the MacOS or eventually release a MacTablet. There is rumors of an all screen MacBook that can be folded. Perhaps that is the best Apple answer to users who want a tablet that runs MacOS.

Over all, I think the Apple pundits who claim to love the iPad Pro but are frustrated with Apple's effort, or perceived lack of effort to make the iPad more like the Mac, should really chill and appreciate what they already have. Sure, the iPad Pro cannot do everything the Mac can. For what the iPad can do, it does it so well. Even these pundits say so. But if they want to do traditional desktop computing tasks, well, they can turn to their MacBooks. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

iPhone: Skipping the Most Consequential iPhone Upgrade And Stick With My iPhone 13 mini

 The title of this post says it all. I'm skipping the iPhone 16 capable of handling Apple Intelligence and sticking with my iPhone 13 mini. With the timeline of Apple's development, I can afford to wait until iPhone 17 while hanging on to one of the iPhone form factor Apple has realized in recent years. 

First, when Apple unveils the final version of its OS platforms (MacOS Sequoia, iOS 18, and iPadOS 18) along with the new iPhone 17, some Apple Intelligence features will not be available on day one. Some will not be available until 2025. Will it be January? February? Or closer to the April/May with the next WWDC just around the corner?

I have my MacBook Air to experience Apple Intelligence and I might even get a new iPad that can run Apple Intelligence so I'll be able to keep myself up-to-date on Apple's latest and greatest Apple Intelligence features. Just will not be able to do it on the iPhone.

Of course, it is not just about Apple Intelligence. I really like the size and weight of my iPhone 13 mini. I would be happy to upgrade the mini on an annual basis if Apple had continue to release the smallest iPhone in the lineup. Aside from not having the latest and greatest camera compared to the iPhone Pro, the iPhone mini has. a lot going for it. 

The iPhone mini with its size, weight, power, and battery life all combined for a user experience that is unmatched. My opinion of course. Easily useable with one hand. Can handle any app that the iPhone 16 Pro Max can run. And because it is easier to handle and carry around with me, whether I am on the go or out for a jog, I do not have to worry about dropping it so I do not keep it in a case. And it is much easier to use with one hand.  

I am still holding out hope that the iPhone mini will make some sort of comeback in the future. One that can run Apple Intelligence. Until that day, my mini will be my main daily driver.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Apple Intelligence and Apple Watch - Perfect For Each Other But Not Yet

Apple intelligence will not be coming to the Apple Watch just as it will not be coming to the Apple Vision Pro. That is not only the word on the street but a stark omission from Apple's keynote video for the WWDC. It is a disappointment because Apple Intelligence and the Apple Watch are perfect for each other. And given that Apple has yet to announce the new Apple Watch for this year, I have to wonder if it is the case of Apple Intelligence not being a feature on Apple Watches this year or Apple not saying anything until the new Apple Watch is released in a few months.

The issue then becomes when Apple Intelligence will be available for the watch. And equally important is the question of whether the new 2024 watch will be powerful enough to support some form of Apple Intelligence.

One of the key requirements for Apple Intelligence seems to be the processor. It is likely that the new Apple Watches will have upgraded processors as the current one is not that big of an improvement over the one it replaced. For me, it runs Siri well enough. In some use cases, I feel it is better on my watch than on my iPhone or iPad. But to do what is asked of it in order for Apple Intelligence 

With the new Apple Watch, Apple will upgrade the SiP (System in Package) from the Series 9 to S10 with even more powerful neural engines. While the watch chips will never truly match the processing power of the iPhone, perhaps Apple only needs to give the watch a fast enough neural engine.

Another issue is the RAM. While Apple has never specifically said how much ram the watches have, there are suggestions that they top out at 2 GB. That definitely is not enough to run Apple Intelligence natively. And that could well be the bottle neck.

For the Apple Watch to run the majority of Apple Intelligence on device, it would need a lot more RAM. That is not going to happen this year or even next year. Apple will have to wait until technology catches up or figure out a way to run Apple Intelligence with even less resources available.

Where does that leave the new Apple Watches? 

Personally, I would settle for a much improves Siri. Not just one that can understand me better but capable of obtaining a wider range of results. Apple had mentioned that they too were frustrated in the limitations the current Siri has, specifically requiring users to frame questions in specific ways in order for it to understand what they are asking for. I do not expect this part to improve much. However, this is an area that Apple needs to improve for the Apple Watch. I'm hopeful that a better and faster neural engine will allow Apple the upgrade Siri to better understand the user regardless of whether the results the user is asking for will end up being processed the watch or offloaded to the cloud.

One area that Apple will focus on is going to the improvements under the hood. These are going to be ones that users may or may not see directly. Better and accurate sleep and health tracking and activity monitoring is a given. I am currently running the new WatchOS beta. One of the features I noticed for the first time, though maybe it was already on the previous WatchOS, was that after I manually paused my run and started walking, it actually pinged me to tell me that it noticed I might have resumed my running and if I want to continue recording my run. I was rather impressed by that. 

We will likely see improvements of those nature. Apple is limited by the technology and size of the Apple Watch. And the amount of technology Apple managed to cram into such a small place is already impressive. To get a full Apple Intelligence in there is impossible but if there is a strip down version of it, I will take it.

Remember that the iPhone OS was a stripped down version of the MacOS. And the WatchOS is the strip down version of iOS. I'll take the first baby steps of Apple Intelligence on the next Apple Watch any day and watch it improve in the coming years.

Using Generative AI Has Given Me A New Appreciation For Siri and Excited For The Future of Apple Intelligence

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