Today, Apple christened its new Steve Jobs amphitheater for yet another much-lauded fall keynote, introducing a slew of new improvements to their product lineup. Apple took to their typical storytelling fashion, initially offering a little-changed iPhone 8 before taking the stage to announce, “one more thing,” a phrase Steve Jobs famously used when announcing key new products like the iPhone.
A tribute to the late company founder, Apple used these words to introduce what they described as “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone,” the iPhone X. A powerful emotional moment in the amphitheater named for Mr. Jobs.
• The new iPhone X, called “iPhone 10,” comes in a casing with a nearly edge-to-edge display with a vertically-aligned dual-lens rear camera. There are small notches at the top for the front facing camera and earpiece.
• Super Retina Display – The iPhone X comes in an entirely redesigned casing with a new display that Apple calls a “Super Retina Display.” This new display offers the highest pixel density of iPhone ever at 458 PPI compared to the iPhone 7’s 326 PPI. The new display measures in at 5.8 -inches with 2436×1125 resolution. The new OLED technology has been a long-sought improvement as it can offer far more range of contrast and, with no back-light it is not only thinner but can offer blacks that have almost no luminescence (helpful at night). OLED had been criticized by some for its color accuracy issues which Apple claims they fixed with the new “Super Retina Display” that has the same HDR color support that the new 4K Apple TV offers.
• Goodbye TouchID, Hello FaceID – The new edge-to-edge display has gotten rid of a feature that has been around since the original iPhone, the home button. As a result, TouchID is a thing of the past and to login, you now use “FaceID,” a front-camera based facial recognition system. FaceID can adapt to your face changes over time including things like growing a beard. It works both night and day utilizing infrared microdot technology. It also requires the user to be attentive, you are not going to “accidentally” unlock your new iPhone if you tap it in your lap as if you are looking away or your eyes are closed, it will stay locked.
• Security: While many have been concerned of the potential implications of switching from the bio-metric fingerprint system, TouchID, to a facial image recognition system, Apple is quite confident in their new approach. Through their testing, Apple determined login rate approval of the TouchID system to be around 1 in 50,000 chance of an accidental login. They claim that with FaceID, the chances that someone else could look at your iPhone and unlock it with their face is now 1 in 1,000,000, unless you have an identical twin that is.
• Animojis: This new facial recognition technology enables some pretty cool software features, like what Apple calls “Animojis.” Animojis allow you to use your face to animate specific emjois with your facial expressions. Similar to the motion-capture technology used by multi-million dollar films, the camera projects a series of infrared dots to track and make corresponding changes in the character. We predict this feature to be a big hit.
• Home Screen: Just tap to wake the display from sleep. With no home button, to get to you home screen you now just swipe up from bottom. If you stop this same gesture mid-swipe it will also bring you to a multitasking screen that previously required a double-tap of the home button. Swipe up from the bottom to go to the Home screen.
• Small improvements: The iPhone X battery life is up to 2 hours longer than iPhone 7 which will be a big plus for power users and, like iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X supports wireless charging based on Qi standard.
• The iPhone X comes in 64GB and 256GB storage capacities, priced from $999. It will be available to pre-order from October 27 and will ship on November 3.
• Casing: The casing design for the iPhone 8 is brand new with glass on both the front and back of the phone and an aluminum band around the edges that matches the finish of each iPhone. Apple claims the glass they are using will be the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone.” It will be available in Silver, Space Gray, and new Gold finish.
• New Hardware: The updated iPhone 8 comes with a chip that houses two performance cores for performance 25% faster than A10 and four high-efficiency cores that are 70% faster than A10 chip. The new second-generation Apple-designed performance controller can handle up to 70% faster multitasking workloads. The new camera has a 12-megapixel sensor with deeper pixels and a new color filter that offers wider dynamic range and lower noise in photos and videos. There are a few other small tweaks like a new image signal processor, faster autofocus, and a new pixel processor for better sharpness and texture. The updated accelerometer and gyroscope also enable software custom tuned for augmented reality. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will support LTE-Advanced and Bluetooth 5.0.
• Wireless Charging: The updated iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus offer Qi standard-compliant inductive wireless charging, you put the iPhone on a charging pad and it will automatically begin charging.
• Cellular – The next generation of Apple Watch, Series 3, comes with cellular built in. A much desired feature, cellular will enable users to receive phone calls using the same number as their iPhone and, starting next month, use Apple Music to stream over 40 million songs right from your wrist.
• The new Apple-designed W2 chip powering the Apple Watch Series 3 has a new dual-core processor that delivers 70% more performance. The W2 is also able to deliver 85% faster Wi-Fi while still being 50% more power efficient.
• Siri is now coming to the Apple Watch Series 3. Siri can now use the built-in speakers to actually talk to you.
• The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in two versions. One with cellular and Wi-Fi from $399. One with just Wi-Fi from $329. The original Apple Watch Series 1 remains for sale at a reduced $249 price point.
Apple TV 4K:
• The latest iteration of the Apple TV is not only 4K capable, with over four times the pixels as standard HD, it also has HDR, or “High Dynamic Range” support built in. High Dynamic Range enables better color replication resulting in richer images with deeper colors like the example below.
• In terms of new content for your new Apple TV, Netflix will soon be offering compatible 4K HDR content and later this year, Amazon Prime Video will also be available. Live sports, a much desired content feature, will also be coming to Apple TV later this year and Live News will be available within the TV app.
• The new 4K Apple TV is powered by the Apple A10X chip, the very same chip used in the iPad Pro.
• The new 4K Apple TV will start at $179 for the 32GB version and $199 for the 64GB version. The previous, fourth-generation Apple TV will still be sold with no price cut at the previous $149.
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