Apple just held its first-ever keynote event at the Steve Jobs Theater on its new “spaceship” campus, where it introduced a bevy of new products. The headliner at Apple’s event was the new iPhone X. The long-rumored, 10th-anniversary-edition iPhone has an all-new design, facial recognition technology, and other new features. Apple also unveiled a new Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Here’s a rundown of everything Apple announced, in case you missed it:
Apple’s iPhone X is the company’s biggest change to its flagship smartphone in years. It includes a borderless, OLED screen, wireless charging and facial recognition cameras. CEO Tim Cook said the new phone, which will be the firm’s most expensive starting at $999, is intended to signal where its smartphones are headed in the future. Cook suggested the technology in the iPhone X was an indication of the company’s philosophy going forward: simpler, cleaner and more intuitive to use.
The iPhone X will be available in gray and silver finishes, and includes a new screen Apple calls a Super Retina display. It measures 5.8-inch diagonally and has a 2,436-by-1,135 pixel resolution. It’s also the first and only iPhone without a home button—instead, users will wake up the phone by tapping the screen. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen navigates back to the home screen and launches the app switcher.
The iPhone X is available to preorder starting October 27, and will be available to buyers on November 3.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
Apple is also launching two other new iPhones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. These are essentially updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Both devices will include a new glass back and an enhanced screen that includes the True Tone technology found on the iPad, which adapts the color temperature to match the ambient light in whatever situation. One of the biggest changes to come to these phones is the new A11 Bionic processor, which includes two performance cores and four high efficiency cores. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will also be the first iPhones to support wireless charging.
The new iPhones’ cameras have also been optimized for augmented reality experiences. The 12-megapixel camera sensor on the new iPhones is also larger, faster and can capture 83% more light than its predecessors. As such, Apple is adding a new feature to the iPhone 8 Plus called Portrait Lighting, which uses machine learning to create a depth map of the subject’s face and adjust the lighting dynamically.
The iPhone 8 will be available in 64GB and 256GB capacities, starting at $699, while the Plus model starts at $799. Preorders start on September 15, followed by availability on September 22.
Apple Watch Series 3
The company unveiled a new Apple Watch that has cellular connectivity, meaning you won’t need to keep your phone nearby in order to make phone calls, get directions or stream music. The Watch also has a faster dual-core processor and barometric altimeter, which measures the altitude of an object above a fixed level. Like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it launches on September 22 and is available for preorder starting September 15. The Series 3 watch with cellular will cost $399, but Apple is also launching a cheaper version with all the features above except for cellular support for $329.
As before, Apple will continue to partner with luxury brand Hermes and fitness giant Nike to sell special editions of the Watch.
Apple TV 4K
Apple upgraded its TV streaming media device with support for ultra-high-resolution 4K video and HDR, short for high dynamic range, a visual tool for radically enhancing a screen’s contrast and colors. The so-called Apple TV 4K will begin shipping on September 22 for $179. People who buy the Apple TV 4K will only get the maximum resolution if they’re watching 4K video content on a 4K-compatible TV or equivalent monitor or screen, of course. Apple says it’s bringing 4K movies to iTunes at the same price it charges for high-definition movies, and people who bought HD movies will be automatically upgraded to the 4K versions. Apple is also working with streaming companies like Netflix to bring their 4K video content to the Apple TV 4K.
As part of its demonstration of the new iPhones’ high-quality front-facing cameras, Apple unveiled a new take on emojis. Dubbed animojis, the characters are animated based on users’ facial movements and speech. Apple is launching the feature with a dozen characters, including a pig, an alien and the all-important poop emoji, and users can drag-and-drop them into iMessage conversations. The animation is made possible with iPhone X and its TrueDepth camera, which utilizes the new Face ID facial recognition technology to do things like unlock the phone with your face or make purchases with Apple Pay.
During a presentation of the iPhone X’s design, chief designer Jonathan Ive was briefly shown as an animoji unicorn, describing the new flagship smartphone’s sensuous design lines.
iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra Release Dates
The firm’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 11, will be available to download September 19. Currently in beta, the new iOS update comes packed with new features aimed at streamlining and speeding up iPhones and iPads, including support for enhanced augmented reality apps. iOS 11 will give iPhone and iPad users a new and improved Siri voice assistant, as well as many other new features like an optional “do not disturb” function that automatically replies to texts received while you’re driving. Siri will sound more like a human being, translate select languages in real-time and can answer questions and commands with improved contextual awareness.
Apple also unveiled the release date for macOS High Sierra, a major update to its existing Sierra version, on its website following the event. Originally announced in June and available in beta form for the past several months, macOS High Sierra comes packed with new features and updates designed to enhance Apple’s family of Mac computers.
Better Apple Stores
Retail head and former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts took the stage to describe how the company’s stores have and will change in the future. Rather than just spaces designed to sell more Apple products, she said the company was trying to foster communities in cities by providing free social spaces, classes and meet-ups. She showed off upcoming stores in Chicago and New York, among others, that are being redesigned along those lines.
AirPower Charging Pad
The firm’s new phones will finally include wireless charging capability. As part of its move to a “wireless future,” Apple showed off a product coming next year that can simultaneously charge both iPhone 8 models, the new iPhone X as well as an Apple Watch or its wireless AirPod earbuds. The company didn’t provide any information about how much the device would cost or when, exactly, it would be available.
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