Apple's iPhone 6 Rollout: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

From better cameras to broken streams, here's what went right — and terribly wrong — at Apple's latest tech announcement

The iPhone 5 Credit: Courtesy Apple

As Tuesday's video stream faltered on Apple’s website, many were left to follow Twitter and Apple’s own updates on the day’s events. Apple even chose to cross-reference the former, posting select tweets. This one was an eye-catcher:

Well, maybe not for the hoi polloi, but: How about making millions of dollars to joke around with your friends? Or playing Michael Bluth (before the reboot)? Or maybe just Thanksgiving. That’s a pretty good day.

Whatever the case, the excitement was palpable for Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. From nerds huddled in a Cupertino auditorium to nerds huddled around their computers at work to the second guy to play Teen Wolf, all eyes were on the most solvent company on Earth.

Also: Wait in line this time, Bateman.

Here are a few takeaways from Tuesday's indoctrination:

The Good

iPhone 6

When you’re watching one of these rollouts, you find yourself wondering why. And one major reason is that Apple products continue to be the best almost across the board. The iPhone is the finest smartphone on the market. The iPhone 6 (the one with the 4.7 inch display) will be better than any phone before it. Besides this one.

Tim Cook

He will never be the public speaker that Steve Jobs was. Well, he will never be Steve Jobs, in general. But, it seems, that Cook is learning from his limitations and he did a nice job handing the reins to a bunch of white dudes — with 401Ks that have more zeroes than binary code — to explain the functionality of the new products.

Apple Pay

A wise man almost certainly once said, The less crap in your pants, the better. Tossing your wallet and popping credit cards into your Passbook for on-the-go, safe, NFC payments will probably stand the test of time as the most revolutionary aspect of yesterday’s program.

A better camera

If you’ve been to a national park, party, your grandmother’s retirement community or a concert (that wasn’t put on by Kate Bush or Jack White or Neutral Milk Hotel) in the past five years, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people snapping photos with their phones. It can be painfully annoying — not to mention troubling as far as experiential humanity is concerned — but it’s here to stay. And with constant updates, Apple and other manufacturers are making sure those pictures suck just a little bit less.

Pimp leather cases

Did Flyguy design these?

The Bad

Apple Watch

Nobody needs this thing. Of course nobody needs anything Apple manufactures, in a Rousseauean sense. But, many people find that computers and cell phones are helpful for modern life. The Apple Watch is superfluous. The gadget is taking aim at the health nut demographic, but, ironically, many of its functions seem to be beneficial to someone who is too lazy to pull his/her phone out. It’s unwise to bet on a flop when Apple is manning the controls, but rolling it out early next year is another misstep. Christmas is when people buy shit they don’t need for each other. Especially items that bottom out at $350. Missing it is huge. (Don’t worry: Like a less-dorky Google Glasshole, your friend who has too much cash to burn will be showing off his new Apple Watch at your local tavern well into the spring of 2015, when nobody will care anymore.)

iPhone 6 Plus

The new iPhone slogan is "bigger than bigger." Deep. But, the iPhone 6 Plus is bigger than, well, my fucking pocket. I’m not even sure any of the Apple execs onstage could fit its massive 5.5 inch screen into their washed out, loose fit Levi’s. If you want an iPad, just buy an iPad.

Journalists cheering

Surely everyone in the Cupertino audience yesterday wasn’t a technology writer, but many were. And many of them clapped and hollered like schoolchildren hopped up on Pixy Stix when Cook & Co. revealed another microchip or wristband. It made the keynote feel less like a long commercial and more like cultish propaganda. Objective reporting? Many chose to "think different."

The gaming bros

Good on the fellas from Super Evil Megacorp for taking advantage of an invitation from Apple to show off their new game. Still, the sequence was a trippy, rough scene — dressed up in a scarf. It felt a little bit like what happens to Maureen Dowd when she eats weed.

iPhone 6 battery life and screens

It’s not getting markedly better, except for on the iPhone 6 Andre the Giant. And the screens ain’t sapphire; they’re plain, old glass that will shatter your hopes, dreams and, now, Apple Pay credit.

The Ugly

The stream

Many trying to watch the proceedings live online experienced a myriad of issues. Here are some road bumps I hit (on a MacBook Air running Safari): the site crashing, Apple’s TV truck schedule reappearing over and over again, the stream bouncing back to previously aired segments and Chinese and Japanese dubbing mixed in with the speaker’s English. Domo arigato, Apple.