April 19, 2021
There's the classic image of a kid tearing the wrapping paper off of an oversized gift.
They tear the box open and remove the contents.
And then they play with the box.
In a way that's how I feel about many of my friends waiting for tomorrow's Apple April Event.
We expect the event to be a video event so it's probably been in the can for a while now.
There will be new... what?
The rumors are new iPads even an update for my beloved iPad mini. Other rumors are for new iMacs in new colors. We've heard about updates to the Apple Pencil, the release of AirTags, and an array (or is it a deque) of new bands for the AppleWatch.
I love toys as much as the next person and a new iPad mini would be great.
Although I've never taken or posted a video of the unboxing of a new Apple product, I still appreciate the amount of thought that goes into the packaging. It shows a level of care - from the box that holds the iPad to the box that holds the box that holds the iPad.
But the iPad itself is a box that holds... the internet, my mail, favorite photos, movies I love, ...
And all of that content sits in a box inside the iPad that is nearly invisible when it is working right.
That's the box I'm looking forward to playing with after tomorrow - and I don't have to buy any Apple products to do so.
The thing I'm most looking forward for tomorrow is the release of iOS 14.5.
I wear my watch and a CPAP device to bed at night (I know - how am I still single?) so I'm most looking forward to the ability to unlock my phone using my watch when a mask is detected. I hope it works with the CPAP machine.
Honestly, if I'd known that this release would take so long, I would have installed the betas on my phone and watch long ago for just this feature.
I'm looking forward to seeing whether the improvements to Music and Podcasts are ones that actually improve the apps for my use cases - and whether the changes to news make me want to try it again.
I don't know whether the iPad horizontal loading screen will help apps like BritBox figure out navigation in the same orientation that I use to view the shows.
The security improvements are something I'm looking forward to along with the inevitable challenges from Facebook and others.
In other words, without spending any (additional) money, tomorrow Apple will be giving me a whole bunch of new toys.
I remember the first iPhone didn't have any idea where it was. There was no GPS in the initial device. And then Apple added a clever feature that would use a network of base stations to get a better fix on your location. Even if you couldn't connect to these devices, you could get location information from them.
This was a huge change that was almost like getting a new radio in my phone. It wasn't quite a new phone, but it dramatically changed the one I had.
In those days, Apple had to charge for such an upgrade. I think it cost $10 in the US because of Sarbanes-Oxley.
It was the best $10 I ever spent.
It's silly now that we have GPS so good that the image of my bike ride yesterday shows the 100 yards where I took a wrong turn and had to double back.
But back then, in the old days, this was huge.
And that's why tomorrow I'll look at the new shiny toys but mostly I'll be installing the OS updates on all of my devices.