Android had me tempted this year…then Apple drop the iPhone 15!
iPhone 15 Pro Max is a serious bit of kit and I am loving it!
That single, simple line reverberates for me as leading up to Apple’s event a few weeks back I was overcome with apathy.
But having now been using the phone on more varied tasks, I’m starting to realise just what a beast of a phone this iPhone 15 Pro Max is. The Pro Max is the top of the stack – the phone for professionals – at least that’s what the name would suggest and this year’s phone wears that name with pride.
iPhone 15 Pro Max – up for the challenge
Apple has made mistakes – not only with the iPhone but with other devices like the iPad.
For years many had clamoured and begged for the iPad to be a pro device yet still it’s a confusing product. Earlier this year Apple launched Final Cut & Logic for iPad to finally utilise the power that it’s packing. However, the feedback has not been favourable. Most brave souls that have tried it are not fans and tend to have tried it only once. And of course, there is Stage Manager which is as decisive as the iPad itself!
But where the iPad Pro has got itself in a bit of a muddle, this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max is shining and leading the way. This is what Apple can do when they get everything right.
Part of my earlier, mislaid malaise was based on the fact that we knew resources were thin at Apple Park this because it had been all hands on deck as they readied themselves for the release of Apple Vision Pro earlier this summer. But I guess one of the benefits of being one of the wealthiest companies in the world is that can dig deeper than most!
I’ve already written this week about how the sum of the smaller parts this year makes for a stunning overall design. If you love design and aesthetics then the cohesion of thought this year will blow you away.
The three simplest areas that highlight this are the titanium frame, the slimmer bezels and the curved edges. They all play delightfully into one another’s strengths.
But this is way more than simply a pretty face – and I’m starting to witness the power I have sitting in my hands.
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ProRes is now useable
Last year I bought my iPhone 14 Pro thinking that I’d be shooting ProRes video on it for my channel. I thought rather than buy a DSLR camera and go through all the aches of learning how to use that, I’d be better off buying the 14 Pro.
As much as Apple has got it beautifully right this year, last year they hadn’t thought it through. I can’t believe that at some point of development of the 14 Pro, some boffin didn’t pipe and say ‘ProRes just doesn’t work – you can’t the files of the phone.’
A video that ends around 15 minutes long on YouTube can often be a 45-minute recording. A ProRes video file of that duration is a bloody big file – around 85GB! To get that file onto your Mac last year was almost an impossible ask – obviously, it was way beyond the abilities of AirDrop and the only way I could figure it out was to use the lightning cable and open Image Capture. It did work but you’d better have something else to be getting on with as it took over an hour to import. USB 2.0 speeds – about 480Mbps and ProRes files (1 minute of ProRes 4K 24FPS is about 150MB) don’t play nicely together!
It wasn’t only moving the files that proved an issue but those massive files also meant you’d need plenty of storage on your iPhone. Even if they were only there temporarily, you’d still need a spare 100GB free. And forget to delete them at your peril! They all recorded locally to your photo app – you had no choice.
But the iPhone 15 ProMax is a different beast – the difference a year makes.
Who needs Thunderbolt?
Leading up to Wonderlust all we heard about was that iPhones this year would all be getting a USB-C port. The reasons that came to be have already been covered – but all that mattered was lightning would now be a thing of the past.
It was understandable that the 15 & 15 Plus would still have USB 2.0 speeds coming out of those ports – those phones are not aimed at professional use. But the 15 Pro and Pro Max were meant to be getting a Thunderbolt 4 port aimed at solving the file transfer issues.
As it turned out, luckily, those rumours were wrong.
Apple’s solution to the problem ProRes issue was way better and is a fantastic solution. I’m assuming that if we had had the Thunderbolt 4 port the videos would still have been recorded locally to your phone – so it would have only been a solution to half the problem!
Their answer has solved the entire issue though – and the best part is it’s so simple to use. I’m a little cynical, so when I watched the event and heard them talk about this solution I was left wondering how it would work in the real world. After all, nothing works as well for real as it does in the events right?
Wrong! It is as simple as it looked.
It just works
Remember when I said when great design works it’s a thing of beauty – whoever dreamt up this answer deserves a chunky bonus this year!
There are no check boxes that need to be ticked, options selected or preference menus to go through each time. Nope, all you do is plug in an SSD and it does the rest. Apple was so confident that they had nailed the concept that they even raised the bar! Why stop at ProRes – why not go all the way and shoot in ProRes – oh and 60FPS for some lovely slo-mo shots as well!
The only part of the solution that falls squarely on your shoulders is making sure you buy the correct SSD to maximise the read/write speeds that Apple promised. As I waited the week for my 15 pro Max to arrive I did some research and decided that Samsung’s T7 1TB SSD would be the one best suited. And it is – I’m glad to say I chose smartly!
Later this week I’ll be posting a video on my channel that was shot entirely on my iPhone 15 Pro Max. I shot it ProRes, in LOG at 4k 24FPS. It was an 18-minute file and was 85GB. Moving that file over to my Mac took under…2 minutes! I didn’t even have time for an espresso it was that rapid!
The file never touches your phone – it records directly to the SSD. It just sees the connected device and takes care of the rest of it – I promise you, it couldn’t be any easier.
This is Apple at its finest. Innovative and a pleasure to use. It just works.
A classic in the making
If you’ve been on the fence about whether there was enough new on the iPhone 15 to make it worth changing, it’s time to jump off that fence and get yourself to your nearest Apple Store.
Even with the 15 & 15 Plus you are getting better cameras, a better processor and Dynamic Island. With Pros, you get the A17 Pro chip, and faster transfer options and the Pro Max gets the 5x zoom camera as well.
Add to all of those features the titanium frames on the pros, the Action Button, the rounded edges and thinner bezels – these iPhone 15s could yet end up with a place in Apple’s Hall of Fame.
Design at its best.
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