iPhone 12: Same High Price But Little Innovation Once Again

As I tweeted earlier today, there is something about a brand-new smartphone (regardless of the brand) coming with no charger or crappy pair of headphones that feels grossly unnatural. Having said that, wireless charging isn’t exactly a new innovation and in the case of Apple, they’re banking on the fact that most who upgrade to the iPhone 12 will already have chargers on hand.

To give Apple a bit of credit, the iPhone 12 will come with a USB-C cable, so all the consumer needs is the wall adapter, and even then, it doesn’t have to be official spec.

Personally, I made the switch from iPhone to Samsung last Christmas, and whilst the adjustment from OS to Android took a bit of getting used too, there is nothing from today’s Apple event that makes me think I need to switch back.

Indeed, there is nothing about the iPhone 12 that really sticks out above its predecessors, and certainly nothing that makes me second-guess my well loved S10.

Here’s the thing. For me at least, the iPhone 12 is just more of the same with a slight improvement to the camera and an increased operating speed thanks to that sexy A14 Bionic chip. That might be a somewhat dull assessment, but to the average consumer like myself, that’s simply how these Apple events have come to be.

Apple events are flashy, focused, and extremely impactful marketing tools that those firmly aboard the iPhone fandom train will tune into each year. To the general consumer though, they are typically events that end with the same question, a question that starts and ends with to second guess the cost of the device in question.

And honestly, call me a bit “behind the times”, but how much better are we really expecting our smartphone cameras to get at this point? Is the camera really worth shelling out over a grand for? If that’s your market, go and spend the money on a good quality DLSR.

Priced firmly in the premium market at $1350 for its ‘cheaper’ mini version, the iPhone 12 is a hard sell given the current financial outlook for many after a year of uncertainty and job losses on mass thanks to COVID-19.

To those who can afford it, and especially those already in the Apple echo system who are looking for an upgrade, an iPhone 12 purchase makes a bit more sense.

But for the average user, and especially an Android native considering making the jump to Apple’s latest offering, the iPhone 12’s wildly overpriced $1350 just to get in the door should make for harrowing reading.

Fitbit Attempting To Add Greater Health Indicators To Fitness Wearables

Wearables go hand in hand with daily fitness duties for many, but what if there was a way to use these devices to measure better metrics for long term health?

This, in a hard to explain a nutshell for a fitness dummy such as myself, appears to be exactly what Fitbit is attempting to pull off with their new Active Zone Minutes (AZM) feature.

Available on all Fitbit wearables, the AZM is a new form of heart metric that goes beyond general step activity to provide the user with greater acctivity targets for improved health and well-being.

According to Fitbit data scientist Aubrey Browne, understanding the data behind AZMs and improved understanding of health is key to users.

“Our cross-sectional analysis shows a clear association between the acquisition of AZMs and our users having the tools they need to improve their health. Now that the feature is available for the masses, we are excited to use this physical activity metric further in longitudinal analyses,” Brown said.

But what does that actually mean? Basically, an AZM is a measure of active minutes recommended to the user, a.k.a how long they should be doing different types of physical activity based on their current health, age. and lifestyle statistics already in use across Fitbit apps.

The science that has emerged to sit behind the AZM is interesting.

After launching AZM on wearables in back in March, over 20,000 Fitbit users data showed that the more AZM’s a user logs each week (through increased exercise and activity), the better long term health indicators a user sees. This is based on lower Resting Heart Rate (RHR) and Body Mass Index (BMI).

For dummies like me, think of it in these simplistic terms:

With the AZM feature enabled on your Fitbit wearable, and assuming you’re engaged in a certain amount of physical activity (whether that be Yoga, going for a run, dance class etc), you’ll soon be presented with a metric that can predict certain long term health indicators based on individual data.

I know, it’s all ranging into the territory of over the head mumbo jumbo for those who simply want to be a bit more active and lose a bit of weight.

But at least Fitbit are doing what they can to track what you’re currently doing from more than a purely data collection perspective and are entering into greater health tracking indication.