#277 2016 Apple iPhone 7 Event - September

I just finished watching the Apple iPhone 7 event.  I'll attempt to describe what was in the Keynote speech and how the new software and products will be good for archaeology. Let's get to it!


Apps are being developed for archaeology all the time. Well, not all the time, but, most of the time. I always get asked whether we're going to develop for Android or not. Of course we are, but, we develop for Apple first because there are more downloads in the AppStore compared to competitors and the Apple platforms are simply more durable and powerful. So, Android is on the list, but, we develop for the best, most stable, platforms first.

Games - Mario Brothers

Super Mario Run - a great time waster for you 30-40 something archaeologists. Promotes playing the game one-handed for the first time - play while holding a trowel! Available by Christmas.



Apple's program to get hardware in the hands of students - good opportunity to get archaeology software in front of students as well. And, on a platform that is durable and powerful.


Real-Time collaboration with iWork apps.

Apps on Mac, iPad, and iPhone, including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, and real-time collaboration can now make Apple more competitive with Google. And, these apps work better than Google and Microsoft apps on Apple devices. The demo showed three people working on a slide deck all at the same time. I like this because I'm a Keynote user. I've never liked PowerPoint or the Google Slides so this could be really powerful. Also, the more we can move away from Microsoft, the better.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch is the number 2 selling watch in the world behind Rolex and the number 1 smart watch in the world. I've had one since they came out a year ago and I love it. This is a powerful device for archaeology if you use it right. Most of the time while I'm working I leave my phone in my pack while receiving notifications. It's great. Now, with the new GPS chip in Series 2 (see below) it just became even more powerful.

Here are some of the features of the new Apple Watch and Watch OS3.

Watch OS3

  • Apps Launch Instantly
  • New Dock for Apps
  • New Faces
  • Writing on the screen for notes
  • Activity sharing
  • Watch reminds you to do a deep breathing exercise every day
  • Contact emergency services within seconds
  • Available September 13th.

Pokemon Go - basically a fitness app now. You can start a walk - track calories, miles, hatch eggs, and find out where Pokemon are.

Apple Watch Series 2

  • Water proof - used for swimming - water resistant to 50 m
  • Dual core processor 50% faster
  • 2x graphics on the new GPU
  • Brightest display every - great for bright sunlight - like when you're surveying.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • New case - ceramic (in addition to aluminum and stainless steel)
  • Available - $369 for Series 2 - Pre-order on September 9th, available the following week.
  • The original watch, Series 1, starts at $269 and has the new dual core chip.

I see the waterproofing, brighter display, built-in GPS, and faster processor as being a real boon to future archaeology applications. Imagine seeing your next shovel tests on the watch and tracking your progress and location without a cell signal. Imagine doing light recording of certain aspects and having that information transmit to your mobile device stored in your pack. It's a brave new world, my friends, and it's time to reinvent archaeology.

iPhone 7 and 7+

The iPhone 7 is out and comes with the new iOS 10. Here are the features:

IOS 10:

  • Lift to wake
  • Siri for apps that aren't Apple.
  • Machine learning intelligence in the keyboard
  • Do more within the Maps app
  • Available: September 13th

iPhone 7:

  • Jet Black finish
  • Taptic Engine similar to Apple Watch - allows for better notifications 
  • New enclosure is water and dust resistant. That's huge for archaeology!
    • IP67 Protection Standard
  • Camera
    • Optical Image Stabilization
    • F1.8 Aperture Lens
    • 6 Element Lens - Sharp edge to edge
    • 12 MP sensor
    • True-Tone flash - 4 LEDs with 50% more light than previous models
      • Flicker sensor compensates for artificial lighting
    • Image Signal Processor
      • Face and Body Detection
      • Sets Exposure
      • Sets Focus
      • White Balances the Color
      • Tone Mapping
      • Noise Reduction
      • Can fuse multiple photos for a perfect image
      • Performs 100 billion operations in 25 milli-seconds every time you take a picture.
    • APIs for Capturing Live Photos
    • Raw camera API
  • iPhone 7+ Camera
    • Wide-Angle and Telephoto Lens on the back of the 7+
    • Wide-Angle and Telephoto allows you to zoom efficiently
    • Hardware Zoom to 2x - Software zoom to 10x.
  • Bonus Feature: Shallow Depth of Field
    • Uses Software to recognize faces and then blurs the background.
    • Available to all iPhone 7+ models as a software update later this year.
  • Retina HD Display
    • 25% Brighter
    • Color Management
    • 3D Touch
  • Speakers
    • Stereo Speakers for widescreen listening.
    • Twice the volume of previous models
  • Lightening Jack
    • Power and Control
    • Audio
    • Lightening Headphones
    • Can get an adapter for regular headphones - comes with the device for free
  • Apple Airpods
    • Wireless earphones
    • Two wireless earphones. No wires between the two.
    • Has the new W1 chip.
    • Tap tough for Siri
    • Knows when they are in your ear.
    • 5 hours of listening.
    • Case has 24 hours of battery life to recharge the Airpods.
    • Auto routing of audio to one headphone if you have just one in.
    • Available: Late October
    • Cost: $159
  • Performance
    • A10 Chip with 3.3 billion transistors
    • 40% faster than 6S and 6S+
    • 50% faster graphics than the A9
    • Graphics takes 2/3s of the power of the A9 Chip giving better battery performance.
  • Battery Life
    • Longest battery life of any iPhone
    • 2 hours more than the 6S, on average
    • 1 hour more than the 6S+, on average
  • Available for pre-order: September 9th
  • Ships: September 16th
  • Cost
    • IPhone 7:
      • Starts at $649 (32GB, 128GB, and 256GB)
    • IPhone 7+
      • Starts at $769 (32GB, 128GB, 256GB)
    • IPhone Upgrade Program
      • Unlocked
      • AppleCare
      • New phone every year
      • Starts at $32 a month

So, there are a lot of things here that will make archaeology easier, more efficient, and just overall better. Recording a special ArchaeoTech Podcast today. Look for it later this week. We'll be talking all about this announcement and what it means for the future.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field!!

#256 #SAA2015 Conference Scheduling Hack

Hey all...I was scheduling my week for SAA2015 and found a way to make it a bit easier. I thought I'd make a quick video so others could do it if they please.

Now, this works on Apple iCalendar apps across the iPhone and Mac OS, but, I'm sure there is an Android way to do this using Gmail or some other app. I'm just not well versed in that system.

If you know how to do it on Android, leave a note in the comments.

Thanks for watching and I'll see you at the SAAs!

#190 How Apple Killed Word

Well, maybe not “killed”, but, certainly gave us another option.

When I was in graduate school I switched over to the Apple suite of office software completely. I did it so all of my devices would sync properly. It seemed archaic that I couldn’t work on a document on my computer, pack that away, and work on the same document on my phone on the bus ride to campus. Also, the iPad was coming out in a few months and I wanted complete syncing ability.

I know you can now do that with Windows and the paid service called Office 365 that gives you all of your documents in the cloud similar to Google Docs. Which reminds me, I know Google Docs exists too.

So, before I receive any comments on this blog, or, since no one actually comments here even when I ask for information, comments on LinkedIn or Facebook, let me just say that this post is mostly for Apple enthusiasts. If you aren’t into Apple products and are offended by the mere mention of anything other than Linux or Google Docs then click away now! Here is something that should make you happy. Just kidding.

For the three of you that are left, let me tell you what Apple did.



I’ve been using Apple’s word processing software, Pages, for several years now. I love how easy it is to layout a document and how fluid things move when you drag them around. After years of having Word be glitchy and slow it was great moving to Pages.

The only problem with Pages is that everyone else uses Word. So, if you want to transmit documents back and forth between platforms you might run into some problems. Most things do transfer well, however. It’s just that some of the more complicated formatting can get messed up.

Pages in the Cloud

Well, now Pages is in the cloud. Anyone with a free iCloud account (if you have an iTunes account you have iCloud) can now create, share, and modify iWork documents including Pages, Numbers (spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentations). You can even drag Word documents onto the screen and it will convert and open them. If you need to export as a Word document it will do that too.

I like having Pages in the cloud because all of my documents are written in Pages. If I’m working at home and need to stop I can save what I’m working on and it will be available for me anywhere in the world as long as I have a computer and an internet connection.

Template Chooser


There are some limitations to using Pages. First, Pages doesn’t do mail merge. It’s the only reason I still use Word for some things. Also, the cloud and iOS versions of the iWork apps have limited functionality when compared to their desktop counterparts. That is to be expected, though. I do know that they have the similar capabilities when compared to Google Docs, although I don’t have enough experience to speak intelligently about that.


Aside from the previously mentioned benefits of speed and agility, there are other reasons to use Pages and the other iWork programs. First, if you’re familiar with Apple then you know that all of their apps are polished and have a great look and feel. I don’t know how to say it better other than they just work and they feel right. I’m always frustrated by Word, and Windows in general. It always seems clunky and unfinished.

Now, instead of converting your good looking document into a Word document just so someone can look at it and comment, you can send them the Pages file and they can open it in their browser. No more conversion.

Well, that’s it for this Apple commercial. If you made it this far then I congratulate you. Please, tell me what you think in the comments. Do you use Pages? Are you a Windows user but use Pages on your iPhone or iPad? Let me know.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field!


#42 The Crazy Ones


 “Here’s to the Crazy Ones.

The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers,

The round pegs in the square holes,

The ones who see things differently.

They are not fond of rules and

They have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them,

Disagree with them,

Glorify or Vilify them.

But the only thing you can’t do,

Is ignore them

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as,

The Crazy Ones

We see genius.

Because the people who think they are crazy enough

To think they can change the world,

Are the ones who do.”


-From an un-aired Apple commercial