Just in case you missed it, yesterday Apple released their answer to their own battery problems. We all know that unless you go big and get the iPhone 6 Plus or the iPhone 6s Plus you are going to be left with pretty crappy battery life. Before I got the 6 Plus my iPhone 5 was a nightmare, it barely got through half a day and while the iPhone 6 had improved battery life it still tends to leave people short of what they need for a full day of usage.
There have been plenty of third party companies developing all kinds of battery units to help users keep a charge on the go, battery packs you can carry around and plug in and battery cases you put onto the phone directly. Well now Apple has come up with their own official case and while they may have the pleasure of having the smartest battery case on the market it is also the most hideous one on the market.
We know that battery cases are generally ugly, they add bulk to your phone and make it look like a big brick so Apple clearly wanted to keep a slim design style and still have the battery power in the case. Behold, the big ass hump on the back…
Seriously? Apple has chosen to keep the case as one whole piece. Usually we see these cases in two parts which snap apart. It is going to cost you $99/€119 so in order to justify the price it needs to make up ground in other ways.
The case is smart, it uses the iOS software of the iPhone to determine when to charge the phone or when to not charge the phone automatically. When you plug the iPhone in to charge it will know to charge the phone first and then the case. As well as that Apple can pull some software advantages over competitors such as being apple to show the charges of case and phone on the lock screen and in the notification centre.
However it is ugly, really ugly and would you really want a case with a big hump like this? No doubt it will sell because there is an Apple logo on it and some people just love things with Apple logos. I am an Apple fan myself but I know the different between what looks good and what doesn’t. There is no way I would be spending my money on it, however it does leave us to ask the question;
What the hell is going on with the Cupertino based design team?
Over the past number of months there has been a growing number of products which have had questionable design decisions. This is unusual for a company such as Apple who are well know for excellent design and a team led by Jony Ive.
First we have the iPad Pro which looks fantastic by itself, it is sleek and looks fantastic with a big and bold display. However the accessories that you can buy for the iPad Pro – the Apple Pencil and the Apple Keyboard are pretty strange in design.
The pencil looks great but to charge it you have to stick it into the lightning port on the bottom on the iPad and it leaves you with something like this.
Is that really the best option they could have come up with? Not only in terms of how ridiculous that looks but if you were to drop the iPad with the pencil plugged in or even give it a good hit you could pretty much guarantee that it is going to break. It is a bizarre choice from a company priding itself on the elegance of its products.
Then we have the keyboard for the iPad which has a bulge present when you snap it on. There is an odd hump which you can’t flatten out as Apple insists that the keys sit elevated above the cover’s surface. It makes the device look a bit odd and takes away from the slim and sleek design that the iPad is.
However the Magic Mouse 2 wins the award for most unusual design choice of recent months. Apple redesigned the Magic Mouse so that it can be recharged and no longer requires AA batteries (Yay!) however they then decided to go and stick the charging port on the bottom of the mouse. So when the thing goes dead you have to flip it over and plug it in which means you now have a mouse you can’t use until it has charged.
Now these are not deal breakers. There is no reason not to buy these accessories apart from maybe the battery case for the iPhone as there are better looking ones out there already. I will be getting the iPad Pro next year and I can guarantee that I will be picking up the keyboard and pencil with it.
However these are all design choices that you really feel Apple could have and should have done better with. Previously Apple was known for always producing clean and sleek designs however 2015 has seen a number of products with questionable design choices.
It is not the Apple design we are used to seeing from the past number of years and it seems that they are settling for compromises in design where they refused to do so in the past.
With the iPhone 7 due to be announced next year, maybe they will pull the design out of the bag and show us something really special.