Apple Event – September 2017

The Steve Jobs’ Theatre at the all-new Apple Park hosted it’s first Event today, the Apple Special Event to announce the 10th anniversary iPhone. Whilst most of what Apple is expected to announce has pretty much been revealed via leaks, let’s see what Apple announced regardless.

If kicking off with The Beatles wasn’t a Steve Jobs beginning enough, a real look at Apple’s new Park and Steve Jobs Theatre was shown off, and it’s pretty easy to say this is one place which only Apple could ever create. Machined from the ground up from custom parts and materials, this is one heck of a building. A Steve Jobs tribute was played throughout the beginning of the Event, backed up by now Apple CEO Tim Cook. Unrelated, but we’re just glad it’s filmed in 16.9 again, and not the awkward 21.9 recent Events have been.

Updates

RETAIL

Apple are bringing an update to their Apple Stores, calling them Apple Town Squares, for no reason what so ever. ‘Today at Apple’ will be daily events, where visitors can learn more about Apple products and ways to use them, including development, help and more.

Apple Watch

Apple kicked off the keynote announcements with Apple Watch, a product which has had a 50% growth YoY. The Apple Watch has also took over the place of Rolex as being the number 1 Watch brand in the World.

Jeff Williams came on stage to talk more about Apple Watch, and the watchOS 4 features previewed at WWDC 2017.

Apple Watch will now give much more detailed Heart Rate readings, such as Resting rate, Quick Recovery Rate and more, so you can easily get a look at your Heart Rate throughout the day. Apple Watch will also notify you off an unusual Heart Rate when inactive. Apple are also launching the Apple Heart Study to work even more with aiding Heart Rates.

watchOS 4 will be available September 19th, which we expect the rest of Apple software will be too.

Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE

Apple Watch Series 3 is the first Apple Watch built in with Cellular connectivity. Cellular connection will naturally require an additional data pack to use, so it goes without saying we’re not too chuffed about this. The Cellular phone number will be the same as the iPhone. The Cellular radio is actually in the display

Being a Cellular device, means Apple Watch can stream Apple Music by itself and pair with Apple’s AirPods, which is intriguing as this could make the Apple Watch a device you could potentially use without an iPhone, though naturally Apple would prefer otherwise and will likely force otherwise.

Spec wise the new Series 3 features an all new dual-core processor, which is 70% faster, allowing features and services such as Siri to be quicker than ever. An Apple custom Apple W2 wireless chip for WiFi and Bluetooth. And a final adjustment to the Apple Watch experience, Siri will speak on the Watch, hopefully that can be disabled as personally I’m a fan of it not doing.

A couple of new Workouts have also been added to Apple Watch, including Skiing and Snowboarding, which is great for I guess Canadians and those on the North Pole.

Some maybe happy and some may not be about this, but the Apple Watch Series 3 shares the same design as the Series 2 Watch, and naturally is the same size, so Bands and Cases will continue to work.

Gold, Silver and Space Grey colours remain, with new colours for existing Bands which naturally will continue to work on previous Apple Watches. Ceramic Watch now comes in White or Grey, and just as expensive.

In terms of Carrier partners for us, EE only in the UK at the moment for the Cellular Apple Watch, whilst countries like the US get all major Carriers.

Apple Watch Series 3 – Surf

APPLE (UNITED KINGDOM)

Video provided by Apple (United Kingdom) on YouTube.

Apple Watch Series 3 will be £329 without Cellular or £399 with Cellular and available September 22nd, Pre-orders this Friday!

Apple TV 4K

In an unsurprising move, and leaked earlier, Apple TV is finally going 4K, and with it iTunes Movies are going 4K-HDR as well. Apple TV 4K supports full HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, for true quality visuals and audio. Naturally to fully feel the quality you will have to invest in a 4K-HDR supporting TV, and Audio set-up, but just know it’s ready when you are.

Whilst the Apple TV interface remains unchanged, though naturally has been upscaled, the performance has not, as the Apple TV 4K goes up from an iPhone 6 A8, to the same A10X from the iPhone 7, so you can bet this thing is going to be pretty darn fast, though naturally supporting 4K HDR will require some decent performance to be accomplished well.

Probably the biggest surprise of the talk on Apple TV is that whilst iTunes is getting 4K, the incredible thing is that 4K movies on iTunes are going to be the same price as HD movies, with free upgrades to 4K HDR for ‘Full-HD’ previously purchased Movies! Be honest that’s pretty amazing.

Live Sports is also coming to the Apple TV, with full Live streams available, though it remains to be seen what UK content will be available through that service.

TV app is also coming the UK, though we only noticed My5 arriving to support that, alongside the existing BBC iPlayer of course. Though to be fair, we literally just need ITV Hub and 4OD. UPDATE: ITV Hub is also coming soon to Apple TV.

Pre-orders start September 15th, ships a week later. Existing non-4K version remains. We’d expect tvOS update that same day.

iPhone

Whilst the majority of what the iPhone announcement is going to cover has pretty much already leaked, let’s at least pretend to be surprised about some of it. This is what Apple has announced for their 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

All iPhone models that were announced will be running iOS 11, but you will be able to upgrade this Friday 15th.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (the S models)

The iPhone 8 is the name of the minor update to the existing iPhone 7 models, we guess Apple had enough of the S branding this year. The iPhone 8 models are now glass both front and back, creating that sleek iPhone 4 esc look. The models come in Silver, essentially white, Space Grey, essentially black, and an all new Gold finish.

Whilst the iPhone 8 doesn’t get the iPad Pros Promotion Display, it does at least get the True-Tone display. Apple have also further improved their Stereo Speakers, which are now an insane 25% louder and with deeper bass, which considering how loud the iPhone 7 models remain today, this thing is going to be very loud … you certainly won’t miss an Alarm or Ringtone with these things.

As expected the new iPhone 8 models are powered by a beast of a chip, gone is the A10X Fusion and in comes A11 BIONIC. This 64-bit processor is a hexacore 6-core processor, powered by 4 low powered Cores for basic system tasks as well as 2 high performance Cores which alone are 25% faster than the A10X ones, offering an overall 70% overall improvement. Should be interesting to see where this thing lands in terms of Geekbench and stuff like that as even the iPhone 7 has kept up with the Snapdragon 835.

The Camera on the iPhone 8 remains at 12MP, however that sensor has been greatly updated, now lets in 83% more light allowing for a much better low-light experience.

The iPhone 8 Plus shares that same new main Camera, however it’s important to mention that, at least on the iPhone 8 Plus, the Telephoto Camera does not feature OIS as well as the main like on the Galaxy Note 8. What it does do however is take Portrait mode to the next level with Portrait Lighting.

Portrait Lighting allows you to create a depth map of someones face or target area, and instead of blurring the background, Machine Learning creates landmarks and allows you to changes lighting, essentially allowing you to fully scan a face and change the background lighting entirely.

Apple claim the new iPhones have the “highest quality video capture ever”, which is quite the statement and will be interesting to test that out. It definitely packs a decent spec however, supporting 4K at 60fps. 1080p also gets a bump, now offering Slo-mo 240fps.

Whilst iOS 11 will bring ARKit to everyone, Apple was quick to mention that the A11 Bionic chip is Apple’s first purpose built for AR tracking, meaning far more accurate AR, naturally that’s something we’ll have to see to really believe.

The iPhone 8 models naturally feature all the latest Wireless standards such as AC WiFi, LTE-A, Bluetooth 5.0, but now finally Apple has stepped in to the Wireless charging game, and surprisingly supporting the same open-standard by Qi, which is really great.

Apple by far aren’t the first to the game, in fact we remember back in 2012 experiencing the first real Wireless Charging boom with the Windows Phone 8 powered Lumia 920, but it’s nice for Apple to arrive eventually, thanks to the now glass back of all iPhones announced at the Keynote.

Water and dust resistance remains, but still IP67 despite a pathetic wording by Phil Schiller.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – Unveiled

APPLE (UNITED KINGDOM)

Video provided by Apple (United Kingdom) on YouTube.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come in double storage configurations with 64GB, then 256GB, priced at £699 and £799 respectfully.

Apple have also reduced the price of the existing iPhone 7 to £549, or £669 for the 7 Plus, all of which are available in the same colour options in either 32GB or 128GB varieties.

The iPhone 6S is now only £449, or £549 for the 6S Plus, and in the same colour options at either 32GB or 128GB.

The iPhone SE though, remains the lowest cost iPhone, now costing £349.

iPhone X

To all those annoying people that used to call OS X, oh ess exx, this is 10 okay and ALWAYS WAS! Regardless, this is the confusingly named iPhone X, to celebrate the 10th generation iPhone, despite not being the 10th released, or that the naming strategy goes out of the window, but regardless this is what they’ve called the darn thing.

The ironic thing however about the iPhone X, is that compared to specifically the iPhone 8 Plus we’ve just mentioned, there’s actually not that much, feature wise, to really make you want the iPhone X. The Processor is the same A11 BIONIC we just mentioned, the Wireless is the same with the Qi Wireless Charging, and the Cameras are, for the most part the same as well.

So the real question is, why would you want an iPhone X, over an iPhone 8? … Well, this;

Apple call it the Super Retina Display, which we’re not sure if that’s better or worse than Samsung’s Infinity name, but the meaning is more or less the same. This is a full display experience on the iPhone X, well the closest we’ve actually seen a Smartphone get to, this includes the Chinese Xiaomi Mii Mix devices. Easily our favourite aspect of this however, is its FINALLY OLED on an iPhone!

Say what you want about Apple’s displays being great and everything, the second you look at an OLED display on a Smartphone, you realise you’re instantly wrong. Don’t get us wrong, the technology has gone through it’s rather rough phases, but now it’s ready and it looks just incredible! One of the biggest issues with OLED compared to LCD however is accuracy in colours, which Apple claim the iPhone X won’t suffer from and will remain as accurate as ever with it’s 1 million to 1 contrast ratio.

The iPhone X truly has an edge to edge display, with the lone exception being the Camera, sensors and Speakers at the top middle. The iPhone X also features glass front and back, with a surgical stainless steel band around the sides.

Despite Phil Schiller saying the iPhone X was “water and dust resistance at a microscopic level”, it remains IP67, though as we saw with the iPhone 7 Durability Test, it might as darn well be IP68!

The Super Retina Display on the iPhone X is by a large margin better than any iPhone display to date, at 5.8 inch and a foot print of a regular 4.7 inch iPhone, the iPhone X has a resolution of 2436 x 1125 resolution, which comes to 458ppi. The display supports the full HDR 10, Dolby Vision standards, just in time for iTunes to gain the 4K HDR Content we mentioned with the Apple TV 4K. As you’d expect 3D Touch remains as well as a first for an iPhone with True Tone, though annoyingly Pro-motion did not make it to the iPhone X.

The awkwardness of no Home button or Touch ID!

Being a complete display on the iPhone X posed a challenge for Apple, to integrate their Touch ID in to the display, and they actually failed to, which means not only do we have no Home button, Fingerprint scanning is gone entirely from the iPhone X, which we think was a bad decision!

Whilst most Smartphones have opted for a Rear or Side mounted Fingerprint scanner, Apple have ditched it entirely for Facial Recognition software, FaceID, which we’ll get to shortly.

Basic tasks on iPhone X are now completely different from any other iPhone, tasks which have already altered in iOS 11 for other phones … that sounds intuitive Apple!

TO WAKE THE iPHONE X – You can either Raise to Wake or Tap to wake, then swipe up from Lock Screen to enter the Home Screen, presuming FaceID works or you entered your Passcode.

TO RETURN TO HOMESCREEN – To exit an App, you now swipe up from the bottom upwards, similar to webOS.

TO ENTER MULTITASKING – To enter multitasking you swipe up then wait, the Multitasking should then show up.

TO ACTIVATE SIRI – With no home button, Siri is now built in to the Lock button. Tapping and holding on the Lock button will enter Siri as the Home button does, otherwise you can naturally still say “Hey Siri”.

TO ENTER CONTROL CENTRE – Swipe down from the top right, showing Carrier and Battery.

TO VIEW NOTIFICATION CENTER – Swipe down from the top left, showing time.

TO USE APPLE PAY – Double tap Lock button and authenticate with Face ID (more information below)

QUICK SWITCH APPS – Using the same bottom line used to swipe up to close Apps, if you swipe left or right, you can instantly switch to previous or next App running.

Face ID

Touch ID is no more on iPhone X, Face ID is how you authenticate everything on your iPhone, scanned by Apple brand the TrueDepth Camera System. Apple claim Face ID is as smart as it gets, and can even detects faces in dark.

A11 Bionic Neural Engine is what’s used to process Face Recognition. Face ID learns your face, during setup you’re asked to move your head around whilst not wearing glasses or anything like that, then you should be set.

Interestingly, Apple have promised it will continue to work even with facial hair changes, clothing such as hats, hair changes and most importantly, the weakness of all facial recognition so far, glasses. All Face data is protected and stored on the secure enclave like Touch ID.

For those wondering about how secure Face ID is. In comparison for security, Touch ID is 1/50,000, whereas FaceID is now 1/1,000,000. FaceID also works with Apple Pay, double-tap lock button and look at phone, seems awkward to us. FaceID will also not unlock unless your eyes are open.

Craig Federighi went on stage to talk about using iPhone X. However, the first demo of Face ID didn’t exactly go well as it actually failed, good start with that one Apple. Hopefully that’s not the experience we end up with. To unlock, Raise it, look at it, then swipe, seems a bit cumbersome as well.

Other features exclusive to iPhone X

ANIMOJI

Animoji in iPhone X are custom Emojis which are custom based on your expressions in your Face. They can also be used to record videos, because, of course they can. Craig Federighi literally was doing animal sounds to his iPhone X demoing the tracking. So, that’s a thing.

AR MAPPING

Using the built in Face ID Cameras, app such as Snapchat can now perform much more accurate AR mapping, allowing you to add complete facial tracking to create likely very creepy Snaps.

CAMERA

iPhone X has the same dual 12MP Cameras, just like iPhone 8 Plus. 2X brighter Quad LED Flash. However, only the iPhone X has Dual Optical Image Stabilisation, finally. Though that’s literally the only extra from the iPhone 8 Plus.

The Front Camera on iPhone X is also has much better capabilities, such as having the full capabilities of Portrait mode in the front Camera.

BATTERY LIFE

Apple claim the battery life on the iPhone X should last “typically” 2 hours more than an iPhone 7, that we’ll see about.

AirPower

Apple have finally entered the Wireless charging game with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and this is their, not yet available but coming soon, new accessory for it … AirPower!

Whilst not a great name, it does allow you to charge multiple Apple devices at once which use different Wireless standards, such as the new Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone X and maybe AirPods too. Apple will be working with the Qi standards team, however for now, AirPower charger however won’t come until next year.

Differences from 8 Plus: Front Portrait mode, no Home button, Face ID, Super Retina Display OLED, AR processor.

iPhone X will be available for pre-order October 27th and available November 3rd and yes starting at $999, in 64GB and 256GB.

iPhone X – Introducing iPhone X

APPLE (UNITED KINGDOM)

Video provided by Apple (United Kingdom) on YouTube.

iPhone X will be a pricy Smartphone, starting at a full £999 for the 64GB or a massive £1,149 for the 256GB version!

Just in case you scrolled down and missed all the pricing for other iPhone models, here they are again;

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come in double storage configurations with 64GB, then 256GB, priced at £699 and £799 respectfully.

Apple have also reduced the price of the existing iPhone 7 to £549, or £669 for the 7 Plus, all of which are available in the same colour options in either 32GB or 128GB varieties.

The iPhone 6S is now only £449, or £549 for the 6S Plus, and in the same colour options at either 32GB or 128GB.

The iPhone SE though, remains the lowest cost iPhone, now costing £349.


 

And that’s a wrap, what did you think of Apple’s announcements?!

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