Well, a week later than when I guessed, the iPhone event for 2017 has come and gone. Bellow is a full break down, but if you want the cliff notes, here they are:
- A new Apple Watch, the Series 3
- It has an LTE (4G) modem in it which means wireless music streaming without a phone
- A new 4K HDR supporting Apple TV
- 4K Films will cost the same as HD ones and existing HD films can be downloaded in 4K
- Three new iPhones
- The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (which should just really be called the 7s and 7s Plus) and the iPhone X
The Longer Version
After a stirring opening from the late Steve Jobs, Tim Cook walked on to the stage to bring the world Apple’s latest, most important devices.
After explaining how amazing their new office is, we started on the new products.
First up, the new watchOS for the Apple Watch but more importantly, the new Apple Watch Series 3. The new Apple Watch comes loaded with an LTE (4G) modem so you’ll be able to use all of your apps, without your phone. Included in this is the ability to stream music from Apple Music, wirelessly, everywhere.
The Series 3 also has Siri voice responses and now there’s a barometric altimeter, which will finally track elevation changes in a workout.
Next up was a refreshed Apple TV. Now with 4K HDR. That’s all you need to know really, that, and that any HD movies you’ve bought will be automatically upgraded to 4K, now that’s sweet.
This will have also been very expensive for Apple as I’m sure the movie studios were not all to fond of the idea of selling 4K for no extra money. As well as that, Amazon video and the actual Apple TV App will be released to more than just the US by the end of the year.
Next up, we have new iPhones. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The leaks were correct. Glass backs and new colours bring us the super advanced (squished) version of the iPhone 4 we were expecting.
With the new iPhones comes for the first time, an Apple designed GPU (graphics card) which, can also be used by Machine Learning applications, which makes for a very exciting future when it comes to smarter, learning apps.
The new cameras are, as you expect, even better than before but now, the 8 Plus, now enhances Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting modes, which gives you the ability, after a picture is taken to apply studio quality effects to your pictures.
The next big thing about cameras was around all of the sensors that make the Apple AR (augmented Reality) work even more impressive and engaging. During an AR demo, the company showed a real time, shared AR game. This was really impressive and showed off the true difference of AR gaming. Given the new sensors in the iPhone 8 generation, this game play is further enhanced.
Very interestingly when it comers to the wireless charging that’s included on all iPhone, Apple went with switching to the Qi wireless power standard. This is a very important strategic move, as that means there’s existing technology available in the world, so users wont have to wait for Apple’s AirPower mat to turn up.
But most importantly, we got the iPhone X (10). I did think we’d just call it ‘The iPhone‘ but we weren’t too far off.
The X is realistically going to be a one off technology showcase I think. The much leaked and hyped device comes with an edge to edge ‘super retina display’, enhanced cameras on the front and back and all of the goodness from the new iPhone 8 devices. The biggest feature however is again the much leaked Face ID which, despite not working on the first attempt, seems to be a tour-de-force of technology. The chances that a Touch ID could be bypassed by a similar fingerprint is 1 in 50,000 according to Apple. That rate with Face ID goes up to a reported 1 in 1,000,000.
Now I mention it didn’t work first time in the demo on stage and that to me gives the clearest explanation on why the iPhone X is not launching with the iPhone 8 family, as honestly they don’t seem ready yet. There’s going to be some hardware and software issues holding it back. From all of the reports from the handling sessions however, they have said it was flawless, yet only with the registered Apple staff. Another sign that it’s not ready to ship yet.
The Apple Watch S3, Apple TV 4K and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are available for pre-order on Friday with shipments starting on the 22nd of September. The iPhone X starts for pre-orders on the 27th of October and deliveries in November. That means this year’s super review will be some what delayed, unless of course I get impatient and just get an 8 Plus (but I somewhat doubt that).