A Few Minutes with iPhone 13 Pro

I got to spend a few minutes with the iPhone 13 Pro yesterday. A friend of mine bought iPhone 13 Pro from a local Vijay Sales outlet — quite the surprise that she lucked out finding a unit there. Only happened because someone else who had made a pre-booking there cancelled and she incidentally called up the outlet asking if they had any stock. She chose the 256GB Sierra Blue version, the exact same thing I’m getting. My unit is due to arrive some time in November, so I couldn’t contain my excitement and went over to her’s to get some quick hands-on time with the phone.

I have been using the iPhone XS Max for the last three years, but decided to switch to the smaller iPhone 13 Pro (not Max) this time. Owing to this, I have been a little concerned that it’d feel too small to my liking, but the concerns were quickly dismissed after holding the phone in my hand.

These are my initial impressions & thoughts about the iPhone 13 Pro:

  • The Sierra Blue color looks beautiful in person. It doesn’t matter how many videos you’ve watched of the unit being unboxed and reviewed, the first impressions are still so delightful. There’s this peculiar sheen on the subtle blue colored frosted-glass finish at the back that just looks stunning.
  • Although smaller in size compared to the XS Max, the slight weight increase this year has, I think, proved to be beneficial to me. The heft of the phone felt right in my hands, and the bulk that the camera modules and larger battery have added made me feel that this is something I can instantly get used to.
  • The Camera modules on the back are huge, with the bump taking up more than half of the width of the phone.
  • The lenses are BIG. My iPhone XS Max lenses looked like a kid standing next to Andre the Giant.
  • The 120Hz ProMotion display feels insanely good. There have been several improvements to the display through the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and now iPhone 13, so this is a huge jump for me. The text and elements felt rich and almost printed on the screen. The scrolling and system-wide animations were delightful. I loved it.
  • The “Surgical-grade Stainless Steel” edges are a fingerprint magnet. I shudder to think what it’d look like on the darker Graphite version.
  • The photos that come out of the camera are astonishing. Photos from my phone feel like a something out of a cheap Android OEM phone in comparison. I was especially blown away by the Night Mode quality. A random photo of a tree under a streetlight ended up being well-lit, sharp, and crisp. There was barely any ugly noise or dark areas between the leaves of the tree. I can’t wait to try out the cameras in detail.
  • The Macro mode — holy shit!
  • On that note, the automatic camera switching is super jarring.

I’m really excited for my new iPhone, and I can’t wait to take the cameras out for a review.

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Are Now Available

Sure, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 aren’t as exciting as some of the other previous releases from Apple, but I’ve still been looking forward to their release over the past few months. I didn’t bother installing any Developer or Public betas until the fourth or the fifth one in the cycle, that too only on my 10.5-inch iPad Pro. So I’m going in with relatively fresh eyes.

There are some remarkable updates being rolled out today by various developers that I’ve been beta testing over the last two months. Similarly, our team at Readdle is shipping a slew of incredible features as well, for our Spark, Documents, PDF Expert, Calendars and Scanner Pro apps. It’s been a massive effort to deliver these updates on Day 1, and everyone is excited to hear your feedback. Try them out, we’re sure you’re gonna love it.

Airtel India has today launched pre-orders for the new Apple iPhone XR on the Airtel Online Store. The phones will start shipping on October 26th, just in time for the Diwali festivities.

The iPhone XR can be purchased from the Airtel Online Store in two ways — either at Full Price or in Easy Installments with an Airtel Postpaid connection.

If you opt for Easy Installments, you can grab the 64GB iPhone XR model with a one-time down payment of ₹14,999 and then monthly payments of ₹3499. This takes the effective price of the phone to almost ₹99,999. As part of the Postpaid connection, you get:

  • 100 GB Data per month
  • Netflix for 3 months
  • Amazon Prime
  • Free Handset Damage Protection
  • Unlimited Calling

If you are looking to purchase an iPhone XR this year, but are unable to purchase one using your banking finance options, this is a good option for you to consider. Unfortunately, though, the pricing set by Airtel is much higher compared to the other phone models available on the Online Store.

Writankar Mukherjee, reporting for ETtech:

Top smartphone distributors, led by Ingram Micro and HCL, are entering the business of selling refurbished smartphones in the country where they will refurbish old handsets sourced locally and then sell them, which will help them bypass government restriction of sourcing old phones from abroad.

and

Ingram Micro is launching the refurbished handsets under its own brand focused on iPhone. The company, which will also offer six months warranty on these handsets, has tied up with third-party manufacturers such as Dixon Technologies for this, an executive said. The pricing will be 40%-60% lower than the current selling price for a new model.

I don’t know how to react to this.

Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, reporting for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is preparing to release a trio of new smartphones later this year: the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone’s key features.

The most interesting bit about this report is this:

In at least some regions, Apple is considering offering a dual-SIM card option for the larger model. That would let people use their phones in countries with different carrier plans without having to swap out cards. Such a feature has been growing in importance and popularity, especially in Europe and Asia where business people routinely visit multiple countries.

Could we finally see a dual-SIM version of the iPhone? I’d be bummed if this option was exclusive to the largest (read: most expensive) iPhone though.

Natasha Lomas, writing for TechCrunch:

Programmed obsolescence is illegal in France under a 2015 law which prohibits “the use of techniques by which the person responsible for the marketing of a product aims to deliberately reduce the duration to increase the replacement rate “.

The law carries a penalty of a maximum sentence of two years in prison and up to 5 per cent of a company’s annual turnover.

AFP cites a judicial source stating that the Paris prosecutor’s office of the Directorate General of Competition, Consumption and Repression of Frauds opened a preliminary investigation against Apple on January 5, for “programmed obsolescence” and “deception”.

This whole thing is getting pretty nasty for Apple now.

Official India Pricing for iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple TV 4K and Apple Watch Series 3

Apple today announced a new generation of iPhone models at its annual keynote event in Cupertino. This year, the company held its iPhone launch event at the newly constructed Steve Jobs Theater in its swanky new HQ — the Apple Park. From what I’ve seen in the photos and heard from friends who were lucky enough to attend the event, the Steve Jobs Theater looks every bit as stunning as you’d imagine.

Unlike the keynote event WWDC 2017 which was jam-packed, today’s keynote event felt purposefully natural and deliberate. Tim Cook and other Apple executives seemed in no hurry to finish a demo or move on to the next slide. It was also quite a bit weird to see them stutter when delivering the lines, which leads me to believe that the keynote either wasn’t rehearsed that well or they just didn’t find the time to.

Apple announced the following products today:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • Apple TV 4K
  • Apple Watch Series 3

I’m still going through the material made available after today’s announcements and will be posting my thoughts, comments, and observations here very soon. In the mean time, here is the official pricing of all the products announced today.

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My Journey Towards My First iPhone

It was exactly 10 years ago today, on June 29th, 2007, that the original iPhone went on sale. Although it was first introduced and demoed on stage by Steve Jobs back in January 2009, it didn’t actually go on sale till June that year. Today, irrespective of which mobile platform you primarily use, there’s no denying that the iPhone has completely revolutionized the mobile phone industry.

On its 10th anniversary, I decided to take a look back at some of my original tweets about the iPhone from 2007-2008.

I joined Twitter on 15th August, 2007, a couple of months after the iPhone went on sale in the US. Back then, I had just purchased a new Mac — the old white Mac mini, and was getting used to the joy and delight of using Max OS X Tiger. Coming from Windows, this was a fascinating new world for me, and I was hooked.

On the other hand, the iPhone didn’t catch my attention till the end of 2007. Sure, I had read about its launch and its featured, but back then, India as a country was nowhere on Apple’s radar and there was no chance that Apple would start selling the iPhone here (They didn’t).

My first tweet about the iPhone was congratulating someone on her purchase of an iPhone:

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