Apple has announced the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, the Apple Watch series 3, and the new Apple TV 4k during its product launch event held for the first time at the Steve Jobs theater at its brand new headquarters at Apple Park.
The keynote began with a fitting tribute to the co-founder of Apple, the late Steve Jobs. An audio interview of Steve Jobs kicked off the show, and Tim Cook gave a touching speech about Steve Jobs and his impact on Apple.
The keynote then moved onto the topic of Apple’s new headquarters at Apple Park, a large UFO-like building surrounded by a luscious forest. The new headquarters is said to run from 100 percent renewable energy sources, and they will feature a visitors center, special augmented reality experiences, and a massive new retail store.
The head of Apple Retail then took the stage to reveal Apple’s plans for its stores around the world. The plans include a brand new store design that features outdoor plazas, forums, board rooms for developers, an update to its genius bars with so-called “genius groves,” avenues for products, and “today at apple” events- in-store experiences where visitors can take part in photo walks to help their photography skills, “Swift playgrounds” to help developers, and Teachers Tuesdays to helps educators find new apps to aid their teaching. The Apple Retail stores will also hire new creative professionals, called “creative pros”, to lead the new events. Apple is also planning new “town halls”-new plazas and new spaces in its current retail stores- in cities all over the world, including New York, Milan, and Chicago.
The Apple keynote then finally got on to its product launches, starting with the Apple Watch series 3. The Apple Watch series 3 is nearly identical in design to the previous Apple Watches but features a built in LTE cellular and GPS radio, allowing for untethered use of the Apple Watch. Users of the device can send and receive phone calls, navigate using Apple Maps, stream music and receive texts with the same number as their iPhone. The new Apple Watch also features a dual core processor that is reported to be 70 percent faster than the previous version, a new W2 chip for Bluetooth and wifi, 18 hours of battery life and a barometric altimeter. Apple has created some innovative new ways to pack the new features into the same dimensions including using the display as the antenna and trading a traditional SIM card for an e-SIM. Apple announced a new gold aluminum body to add to its current lineup and brand new sport loop bands. The Apple Watch series 3 will be released in two models, one with LTE and GPS at $399 and one without cellular connectivity at $329, both available from September 22. Apple will also be continuing its Apple Watch series 1 for a reduced price of $249. WatchOS 4 will be available on September 19.
Apple then introduced Apple TV 4k, a new Apple TV device that features 4k HDR content, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision support, 4k screen savers, a new user interface, and the A10x fusion chip. Apple has partnered with major content providers like Netflix and Amazon to deliver brand new 4k content and is also offering that 4k content at the same price point as HD content. The updated Apple TV will cost $149, with the Apple TV 4k selling for $179 4k, both available from September 22.
Next up was the iPhone 8, a device that looks nearly identical to the iPhone 7. Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 has two models: the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus that also features a rear dual camera arrangement. The iPhone 8 Plus rear cameras have machine learning algorithms that allow a new “Portrait Lighting” feature that adjusts the lighting and is able to cut out the background in real-time while taking a Portrait mode photo. Both phones come in silver, gray, and gold, feature a Retina HD display, and include the new A11 “bionic” chip. It is that chip that allows Apple and the calibrated cameras to create new augmented reality experiences which Apple showed off in several new AR apps like the Warhammer 40k AR game, an MLB At Bat app that superimposes statistics when viewing live games, and The Machines– an augmented reality game that allows players to battle each other both online and locally, and features spatial audio and sound occlusion. The new iPhone 8 also features the ability to charge wirelessly. The smaller iPhone 8 model will start at $699 for a 64GB model, while the iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799 for 64GB of storage. Both models will also have larger 256GB models, available for $849 and $949, respectively. The two phones will be available for preorder starting September 15, with a release date on September 22.
Apple was celebrating 10 years since the release of the original iPhone by unveiling their new flagship phone, the iPhone X. As rumored, the iPhone X features a massive 5.8-inch edge to edge super Retina OLED display and rear dual cameras. Due to the screen, the iPhone X is the first iPhone to not feature a “Home” button. Instead, users tap the screen to “wake” the device and swipe up from the bottom to go to the “Home” screen. Users can also pause during the swipe up to see open apps. Since there is no home button, users now have to hold the new side button for access to the Siri assistant. Apple also unveiled Face ID, the killer new feature of the iPhone X that allows the for facial recognition to unlock the device using a host of sensors located inside the small “tab” on the front of the device above the screen. Face ID replaces Finger ID and allows facial processing thanks to the new A11 bionic chip that features a “neural engine”- a set of machine learning algorithms designed to ensure security and flexibility, allowing Face ID to detect faces under various conditions. Face ID will also be available for Apple Pay and third party apps. Apple also demoed “Animoji”, customised animated emojis that are controlled by the users face. During the demonstration, the Face ID unlock failed due to the device not being setup properly which may reveal some bugs in the device. The iPhone X has a better camera than the iPhone 8, featuring f/1.8 main camera and f/2.4 telephoto camera apertures, dual optical image stabilization and quad LED flashes. The iPhone X will begin shipping on November 3, with 64gb and 256gb storage capacities, starting at $999.
Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone X will feature wireless charging and Apple gave a sneak peek at AirPower- its charging mat that charges all of the devices it revealed at the event.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) 12 September 2017
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) 12 September 2017
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) 12 September 2017
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]