This year’s iPhone event is done and dusted, and now we’re all sitting in the interregnum between the announcements and the reviews. I’ve been lucky enough to live blog these events for years, but the process of creating a live blog is weird. I was taking photos for the site during the keynote, and since I’m a “spray and pray” kind of photographer, I took upwards of 1,600 photos in just a couple of hours.
I point that out just to say that my attention was more focused on what Apple was doing than the reaction to it. I only had so much bandwidth, and most of it was taken up by the camera. So when I had a chance later to look at all the coverage (and Twitter jokes), it didn’t come as a huge surprise to see that there was a lot of shrugging this year. “S-year” keynotes often feel like downers to the tech world, even though S-model iPhones are often Apple’s most popular and well-loved devices.
It’s certainly too early to say whether that sales pattern will repeat itself this year, but since my attention was dominated by the keynote, another kind of pattern crystalized for me as I was snapping away with the camera: Apple’s structure for announcing new features has a very specific and repeatable narrative structure.
So that’s what this week’s Processor (hey, it’s back!) is about. Maybe Apple’s framing technique was so easy to see because there were fewer product announcements this year, and the announcements that did happen were so straightforward. I saw Apple framing product announcements in a way very similar to how George Lakoff talks about politicians framing issues.
This year’s framing around the camera was especially fascinating. Arguably, the innovation on the iPhone XS that will be most noticeable to customers is the camera. And with that camera, Apple is trying to do some very similar stuff to what the Pixel 2 does: it takes multiple photos at once, it stitches them together, and it does more computation.
But you know what didn’t get mentioned at all during the keynote? Any other smartphone cameras. Apple would rather you frame the new iPhone as a thing that’s getting closer to replacing a DSLR, not as a thing that is in the scrum with other smartphone cameras. Apple sets the terms of the world and of the things that exist in it. That’s the frame.
This gives us a basic principle of framing for when you are arguing against the other side: Do not use their language. Their language picks out a frame — and it won’t be the frame you want.
Once the frame is established, within that frame, Apple tells a story where one thing leads to the next. Here’s how that usually goes:
Talk about how great Apple products have always been
Talk about specs and tech details on the new thing
Talk about how Apple’s new thing will let you do amazing new things
Apple keeps doing these keynotes specifically to create that frame and tell that story. They don’t (just) exist so you will know what the new feature or product is; they exist so you can see yourself as a character in Apple’s story. They’re Apple’s best chance to set the terms of the discussion for its products.
Even in an S-year keynote, where the announcements aren’t that game-changing, Apple can still use this narrative-setting structure to shape how people think about their products. It might be even more important in an S-year.
I don’t think that Apple is unique in consciously deploying a narrative frame as a technique, but I do think that the company has shown a deeper, more conscious awareness of its structure and importance than anybody else. It knows that most people will forget the feature but remember the story arc — or at least remember the feeling that story arc is meant to evoke.
To be clear, I’m not pointing out these rhetorical techniques because I think they’re somehow disingenuous. Apple may be deploying tactics we more often see in political discourse, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just propaganda. It’s marketing. And Apple has proven itself to be very good at marketing over the years.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Now on Sale in India, New Alexa Voice Remote Also Available
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has now been available in India. The new Fire TV Stick model that was launched in the country last month comes with a price tag of Rs. 5,999. Amazon.in is offering EMI options starting from Rs. 282. As an upgrade over the original Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick…
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has now been available in India. The new Fire TV Stick model that was launched in the country last month comes with a price tag of Rs. 5,999. Amazon.in is offering EMI options starting from Rs. 282. As an upgrade over the original Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K is designed to deliver high-quality, 4K content and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ technologies. There is also an all-new Alexa Voice Remote that supports voice commands as well as functions as a remote controller of your TV. Customers with the existing Fire TV Stick can also avail the controlling support by purchasing the new Alexa Voice Remote.
Amazon claims that the Fire TV Stick 4K is over 80 percent more powerful than last year’s Fire TV Stick. It is powered by a quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and is touted to be the “first media stick available with Dolby Vision” support. Further, there is support for 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos, HDR, HDR-10, HLG, and HDR10+ content. Users can also use the Alexa integration by pressing the voice command button on the bundled remote to watch their 4K content using their voice. There is also 8GB of onboard storage as well as Bluetooth 5.0+ LE and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi that supports 802.11ac networks. For connectivity, the Fire TV Stick 4K has an HDMI output and supports power via Micro-USB.
The bundled Alexa Voice Remote combines Bluetooth and multidirectional infrared technology alongside using a proprietary cloud-based service from Amazon to enable controlling of your TV set as well as the Fire TV Stick simultaneously – without requiring the use of the native remote controller of your TV. There are dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons to control your TV, soundbar, or other AV equipment. Also, the Alexa Voice Remote has a voice button and other Fire TV Stick controls. Users with the previous-generation Fire TV Stick can also use the new Alexa Voice Remote to avail its ability to control TV sets. Amazon is additionally bringing Alexa integration to the existing Fire TV Stick via a software update.
New Alexa Voice Remote
Similar to the previous Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K supports content from services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Netflix, Zee5, and SonyLIV among others. It also has Firefox and Silk browsers to let you surf the Web or access YouTube and Facebook. Furthermore, you can listen to your favourite music by accessing Amazon Prime Music, Gaana, and TuneIn. It is worth mentioning here that while the Fire TV Stick 4K supports 4K UHD content delivery, your TV set needs to have 4K support in order to enable the high-quality experience.
You can also use new Alexa skills on the Fire TV Stick 4K to view live camera feeds, check sports scores, order food, book a cab, or stream songs using your voice. Likewise, you can pair your Echo devices with your Fire TV to control your TV and ask Alexa to play and search for your favourite content, access new apps, or control the playback on your Fire TV – all without using the bundled remote.
With the latest arrival, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K becomes one of the cheapest native 4K players in India. The Apple TV 4K is already available in India as a 4K player. However, it is not as affordable as the Fire TV Stick 4K, with a starting price of Rs. 17,430 for the 32GB storage variant, and Rs. 19,480 for the 64GB variant.
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Thunderlord and Heavy Machine Guns are Back in Destiny 2
Bungie revealed today that Thunderlord, the fan-favorite Heavy Machine Gun exotic from Destiny 1, has made its way into Destiny 2. Not only is that pretty exciting news, more importantly, it triggers the official return of Heavy Machine Guns into Destiny 2.Destiny 2 did away with HMGs when launching Destiny 2 over a year ago.…
Bungie revealed today that Thunderlord, the fan-favorite Heavy Machine Gun exotic from Destiny 1, has made its way into Destiny 2. Not only is that pretty exciting news, more importantly, it triggers the official return of Heavy Machine Guns into Destiny 2.
Destiny 2 did away with HMGs when launching Destiny 2 over a year ago. They were pretty overpowered in the Crucible, but lacked punch in most PvE situations. Rather then try and fix its problems in both major areas, it seemed like Bungie decided to just get rid of them all together.
However the first of the annual pass content. Black Armory, coming out later this year will usher in the return of the lost power weapon class, and Thunderlord is your sneak preview of that.
The Thunderlord can only be obtained by completing the Lost Cryptarch event which launched around Halloween. Talk to Amanda Holiday in the Shipyard if you haven’t started it up yet.
You have a few weeks to complete the quest in order to guarantee yourself one if you stick with it. If you end up skipping the quest when the event ends on Nov. 27, you’ll still be able to get Thunderlord via normal means. Also known as praying to the RNG gods. So you know what that means: go do that quest.
Ed has been a proud member of the Twinfinite staff since 2014. He plays everything on everything but is particularly fond of JRPGs, MMOs, and sports. He holds a B.A. in history and political science and a M.S. in education all from the University at Albany.
Essential’s $149 magnetic dongle will bring back your headphone jack
Essential’s headphone adapter is expensive.Image: essentialBy Johnny Lieu2018-11-14 02:37:17 UTC We know, you miss your headphone jack. Like other smartphones, the Essential Phone has done away with the feature, but the company has just launched its long-touted external headphone adapter and DAC, which magnetically snaps on to the back of your phone. SEE ALSO: Apple…
Like other smartphones, the Essential Phone has done away with the feature, but the company has just launched its long-touted external headphone adapter and DAC, which magnetically snaps on to the back of your phone.