Apple showcased the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the much-rumoured iPhone X with Face ID recognition. Here’s the notable things to take away from Apple’s keynote.
Apple Event September 2017 Key Announcements
The September 2017 event was the first Apple Keynote to be held at The Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s brand new campus.
- Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity
- Apple TV 4K
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10)
- AirPower Wireless charging coming 2018
Apple Watch Series 3 With Cellular Connectivity
Apple demonstrated Apple Watch Series 3 by making a telephone call from an iPhone in the Steve Jobs Theatre to an employee who was paddling on a paddle board on Lake Tahoe.
What was notable about this was that the call was made direct to the Apple Watch without the need for an iPhone to be nearby and paired with Bluetooth. Not only was the watch receiving a cellular call independently of an iPhone, the call quality was exceptionally clear given that the watch was on the wrist of someone paddling, thus a distance away from the mouth of the person wearing it.
With Apple Watch Series 3, it is possible to make and receive telephone calls even when you’re away from your iPhone and, similarly, to send and receive SMS text messages. Again, without an iPhone connected, you can ask Siri to set a reminder, send an invitation or give you directions.
Notifications work too, independently of iPhone. Siri is faster than ever before and speaks back to you from the watch. A first for Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 3 comes with GPS and Cellular connectivity or GPS only. Obviously, some of the functionality will be limited without the Cellular connection.
The Apple Watch makes cellular connectivity possible, without requiring a physical SIM card, through an innovative new eSIM or Electronic Subscriber Identity Module. This is something Apple has been working on for a few years. Watch out for this, it’s likely to be big in other devices going forward.
Early indications are that EE in the UK will charge its customers an extra £5 per month to use their same telephone number on Apple Watch.
Apple TV 4K
Apple announced a new iteration of its Apple TV product, in the same form factor, but taking it to 4K HDR.
The previous Apple TV was 1080p HD meaning that it was capable of displaying 1,080 pixels, vertically, on a screen. HD means High-Definition and this is the resolution of many modern televisions and is capable of giving a very clear picture.
4K displays four times as many pixels, twice as many across and twice as many vertically at 2160p. It is the next stage in television technology and newer, more expensive televisions offer 4K displays. This gives an even crisper picture than ever before.
HDR means High Dynamic Range. It refers to the colours in the picture with HDR giving brighter, more realistic colours and greater detail. It makes images appear even more lifelike than before.
Companion Apple TV apps are coming to iPhone and iPad soon.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and AirPower
iPhones 8 and 8 Plus is the next iteration of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, foregoing the speed bump 7S designation.
The form factor of the two models remains the same as before, but we a glass rear panel not metal, in order for wireless charging, and with the expected iterations in technology contained within.
The iPhone 8, along with iPhone X, are the first models to support Apple’s AirPower …their name for wireless charging. By placing the device on a special mat, it will charge. No plugging in of cables required. Disappointingly, AirPower mats are sold separately from the phone and will not be available until sometime in 2018.
With Apple’s new Retina HD display, the phone uses True Tone technology to adjust the white balance of the image, according to the ambient light around you, to ensure that images look as natural as you’d expect on a printed page. Apple says this reduces eye-strain. And they say that the best colour accuracy, so far, will make for lifelike photos.
Augmented Reality, or AR, is a big thing for iOS 11. Apple claims that iOS is the world’s largest augmented reality platform. An OS with AR can digitally redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited or even see what a new tattoo will look like, …if tattoos are your thing.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are splash, water and dust resistant. They’ve been tested under controlled laboratory conditions that resulted in a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Apple say that splash, water and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear.
The new, flagship iPhone X—pronounced iPhone 10, not Eks—is pretty much the screen size of an 8 Plus in the smaller physical unit size of the iPhone 8. This is due to the screen covering the entire front of the device.
The X is also the first iPhone to use an OLED screen that produces true blacks, bright colours and a contrast ratio of a million to one.
A TrueDepth camera is contained in a small bar, or notch at the top of the screen, housing the technology that enables Face ID, the new face recognition technology used to unlock the device. Machine learning tracks your face over time to account for changes in appearance such as wearing spectacles or growing a beard.
The iPhone X is made from Apple’s most durable glass to date. Like the iPhone 8 models, the X is glass front and back combined with a surgical-grade stainless steel frame for water and dust resistance.
With dual 12MP cameras, the iPhone X gives the photographic power of the Plus model size in a smaller chassis.
Apple had much talk about in their September 2017 event. The naming convention for iPhones changed a little and has left some commentators bemused at the lack of an iPhone 9.