In Apple’s latest ad for the Memories feature for iOS 10, your iPhone is an old man.
The scene opens with a Robert De Niro lookalike strolling through a vault of archives, rummaging through old photographs and films. The old man pieces together these memories from the past year of a young, Spanish-speaking mother’s life, including the recent birth of her daughter. She gets the video at the end. Crying ensues.
Basically, what Apple is seemingly saying is that the old man is a metaphor for the iOS Photos AI, which automatically makes curated collections of photos and videos you’ve taken during specific periods of time or events. Admittedly, this analogy seems a bit ironic, as the old man’s process requires painstaking, sentimental efforts while the iPhone just makes galleries automatically without needing a personal, hands-on touch.
The ad resembles a cross between Interstellar and The Intern — even if the piano riffs strike a too-cheerful note at the beginning. To fully pull at viewers’ heart strings, as the young mother watches herself give birth, a female cover of “Unchained Melody” plays on in the background, to reinforce that feeling of nostalgia and warmth.
It’s beautiful in theory, but in practice my Memories videos are a far cry from Apple’s ad. Mostly, my Memories are just random photos of games and screenshots that pop up in an unexplainable sequence of time, each on a slideshow set to overly dramatic music. The effect comes off like Apple is trolling me with how lame my day-to-day life actually is.
Still, I could see a compelling cinematic version of Memories becoming a blockbuster.