September 2016 Apple Event Round-up
As predicted by this site in January, Apple had their annual September iPhone event yesterday.
It would seem that further ‘doubling down’ on leaks did Apple very little in the way of keeping their new, largest selling device a secret. We saw how this device was going to look relatively early on with leaked shell casings and sim trays as usual. These then lead to the screen leaks and eventually the leaks of the assembled units. These assembled units only ever tell half a story though. Their hardware is not using the latest realised software builds and they are always short video clips from shady sources.
What did we know going in to this event? We knew we were getting more colours / finishes, two sizes and one with two sensors. Oh and we all knew that we were loosing the headphone jack. So, what did we actually get?
Well, firstly we got what was effectively an advert for Apple’s take over of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.
What was more impressive was hearing that Apple Music, released just a year ago is at 17 Million paying subscribers. I’m one of them and iOS 10’s use of Apple Music is a huge leap from where it started.
The first mega nerd reaction reaction was for Mario final coming to iOS. It would seems that Pokemon went well and the no brainer Nintendo is bringing him to the iPhone. This saves Nintendo as a business, as their intellectual property is what they have, as console sales are not a growth business when the largest gaming platform happens to be Apple’s.
After some educational updates, we got our first demo of the keynote. The updates to the iWork suite, which is real-time, cross platform collaboration. It works really well, but without business storage plans for iCloud, it’s going to be somewhat limited in a commercial environment.
Next up though, Tim came out on stage to talk about products. First up was the Apple Watch.
Firstly, a recap of what we had with watchOS 3’s launch and then a tonne of time waisted on Pokemon demo. More importantly though was the update to the Apple Watch’s hardware, the Series 2.
The Series 2 is a re-engineered version of the Apple Watch. The hardware looks much the same, but has been re worked from the ground up.
The first important difference is the Series 2 is ‘swim proof’. I.E. Waterproof to 50 metres. Secondly the Series 2 has a new S2 chip driving the device. This dual core chip with advanced graphics processor to deliver a super responsive device. The Series 2 comes with a newly upgraded super bright display and a built in GPS chip so that you can use the watch for tracking activity without needing to take your phone.
The really nice thing is a new ceramic casing which will be both expensive and strong. For those that are a little more athletically minded, Apple have teamed up with Nike to release a dedicated version that’s designed round runners. With an aluminium casing and a special designed strap set this watch apart from standard ‘runners hardware’.
The new Series 2 will ship this month, but importantly, Apple are putting the dual core processor in the original Apple Watch and calling it, the Series 1.
Next up was the billion device selling iPhone. As is par for the course, Tim recounted the improvements that are coming in iOS 10 before introducing us to the new iPhone, the iPhone 7.
Introduced with a video, outlining the new finishing processes involved with the new Jet Black high gloss finish. We were expecting new colours and we got 5. Jet Black, Black, Gold, Silver and Rose Gold.
Next up is a solid, force sensitive home button. This is effectively a fixed home button that is tied to a new, more advanced Taptic Engine.
The biggie when it comes to the new enclosures are that they are water and dust resistant. The iPhone 7 is IPV67 rated.
The iPhone is the world’s most popular camera. The new camera is redesigned from the ground up with a new aperture, 6 part lens optical image stabilisation across the range and a new 12MP sensor. The reason the iPhone is such a popular camera is the image processor chip. The image processor is going 100 billion actions in 25 milliseconds.
The front camera is now 7MP and has stabilisation and a wide colour gamut on both sensors.
the iPhone 7 Plus, has all of this times 2. The second camera is a telephoto telephoto lens. These two cameras create a zoom built in to the phone. This gives. True 2x times zoom and a software zoom at 10x. Whilst challenging their engineers, Apple are including a ‘portrait’ mode that creates a depth of field that is the quality and capability of a modern DSLR camera. The new mode will be released as a software update. It’s not hard to think that this will lead to a Lyrto style image at some point in the future.
The screen is still as ever, the best ever, but now it’s 25% brighter. The Head of Design from Instagram shows how Live Photos will integrate with boomerang and how the Instagram app will use zoom and now their filters have been engineered to use the wide colour gamut that the iPhone 7 can deliver.
The iPhone 7 comes with stereo speakers. One at the bottom and one at the top. They are twice as loud and have a higher dynamic range.
Next up is the explanation of the death of the headphone jack. First thing that helps with this is the introduction of lightning enabled EarPods and headphones. Every iPhone comes with EarPods and a lightning to analog jack. Apple say that it’s courage that has enabled them to move past the headphone jack.
This courage has lead to Apple doubling down on wireless. They have done this with AirPods. These included their own special chip, the W1. The headphones only work when in your ear and have very clever microphones for talking to Siri when double clicking. With 5 hours listening time and 24 hours from the charging case, the AirPods are a huge move forward for wireless headphones. They have a one step setup that allow you to use them on all of your devices, synced with iCloud. You can use them individually too, so they can be just like a mobile headset.
Beats will also be using the W1 chip in their new headphones too.
The new iPhone is always the fastest thing ever. The new chip in the iPhone 7 is the A10 Fusion. This has two high performance cores and two low performance cores. This helps with battery life so that non-intensive processes don’t have to use the same power as a complex app.
Apple are saying that their new graphics processor inside the Fusion is capable of console level graphics. The demo of a Warcraft meets Oz game that shows some really impressive graphics and object behaviour. (Read, 400 independently rendered and flying monkeys with no drop in frame rate).
When it comes to being slated for the 16GB minimum storage, Apple have doubled the storage across the range (apart from the SE) meaning that it’s 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.
Pre orders begin on Friday and are shipping for the 16th. That’s a week faster than usual, it may have something to do with the exploding Samsungs that are being recalled.
So with no new Macs at this event, we’re left with seeing the impressive iOS 10 again and the new iPhone 7, which, even despite the leaks is an impressive and exciting device that, let’s face it, I’ll be pre-ordering on Friday morning!
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