At the new Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, the Apple Special Event began with the voice of Jobs welcoming the audience. Tim Cook then took center stage to give a tribute to Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, emphasizing how his spirit and philosophy on life is the DNA of the brand.
Next, Cook revealed their new home, Apple Park, reflecting Apple’s values. “Apple Park has been designed with extraordinary attention to detail, incredible precision, and really beautiful materials,” which is reflected in the products mentioned later on in the presentation. This new work environment and community proves Apple’s commitment to inspire the next generation of creators and innovators, creating the “workplace of the future.”
This introduction set the tone for the event this year, laying the groundwork for the announcements to follow. These announcements ranged from new iPhones to the upgraded Apple Watch to the anticipated Apple TV 4K.
In terms of the hardware and software that Apple is releasing, there was a lot to pay attention to. Here are the biggest announcements made at the Apple Special Event this year.
Every odd-numbered year signals Apple launches an upgrade to the previously launched model of the iPhone in the ‘S’ model. It was rumored that the iPhone 8 would be announced in place of the 7S, but still, Apple fans expected Tim Cook to come on stage and reveal the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus- but that didn’t happen.
Instead, for Apple’s 10th anniversary, the company launched a different model, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus that has been updated with glass backs and a new design. According to Apple, the glass is a pretty big deal as it is the strongest it has ever been in a smartphone.
The iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch display and inside, there’s an A11 Bionic chip which has been the most powerful the company has ever included in an iPhone. The iPhone also comes with a 12-megapixel single-lens camera, while the iPhone 8 Plus has two 12-megapixel rear cameras.
Harnessing the augmented reality trend, the new smartphone will also work with AR apps, mixing real and virtual elements.
Another impressive feature of the new iPhone 8 is the fact that it is designed for wireless charging. Users will now be able to place their phones on a charging pad without having to plug in their device. The feature uses Qi wireless charging standard which means all charging devices on the market will work with the devices. Some brands Apple mentioned are Belkin and Morphie.
Pricing for the iPhone 8 starts at $699, while the Plus begins at $799. Preorders can be made on September 15th and iOS 11 will be available for download on the 19th.
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The second grand announcement was iPhone X. This new device is pronounced iPhone 10 and not the letter “X”. It comes with a screen that spans almost the entire surface of the face with a stainless steel spine. The screen measures 5.8 inches and is the first from Apple to use OLED instead of the liquid-crystal display that Apple has used in all other iPhones, including iPhone 8.
Also, there is no home button, only screen space. Users can swipe up to get to the home screen which also allows for multitasking and can switch between different apps. Face ID is the new way for users to unlock their phone. The facial recognition can detect hats, beards, glasses or whatever else is on your face, making it very accurate.
The Face ID requires a Neural Engine which means that it is heavily adopting AI. Additionally, third party apps and Apple Pay will work with Face ID, replacing fingerprint.
Apple’s SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, claims that the chances of a stranger getting into your phone with a fingerprint are 1 in 50,000 while the chances with Face ID skyrocket to 1 in 1,000,000.
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Animojis was also unveiled which enables cute animal emoji filters to move when the user moves. Much like Snapchat’s filters, Animoji entirely transforms the user’s face into the cute animal they have selected. It’s safe to say that this piqued interest of the selfie-takers in the audience.
Tim Cook claimed that Apple Watch is now the most popular watch in the world surpassing Rolex and all other brands. Apple has updated its operating system, watchOS 4, and now includes a heart rate measuring tool that alerts users of increased heart rate that could be a potential problem or health risk. With the upgrades made this the new watch operating system, it’s clear that Apple is focusing on health and fitness as it includes better fitness tracking. The watch will also be available September 19th.
Recommended Reading: 7 New And Noteworthy Features In watchOS 4
In addition to the Apple Watch software upgrade, Apple also announced the Apple Watch Series 3. This device includes cellular connectivity, meaning it won’t need to be wirelessly connected to an iPhone to access data. Users can now make and receive calls via the phone number they have on their iPhone. Not much else has been upgraded from the Watch Series 2, at least nothing that excites us aside from a more powerful processor for faster app performance.
Additionally, users get to access Siri without having their phone physically on them. Apple Music is also compatible with the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 3 pricing begins at $329 (without cellular) and $399 for cellular. It will be available to the public on September 15th.
Finally, Apple showcased the new Apple TV 4K. This box has ultra-high-definition video resolution, as well as it works with HDR for improved color accuracy. Something else that’s new with the Apple TV is the A10X Fusion processor which Apple claims will speed up performance and compatibility with high-end video games. The A10X chip gives the Apple TV twice the processing power and four times the graphics performance. The Apple TV 4K starts at $179 with the 4K version starting at $149 available also on September 15th.
Apple showcased the new ultra-high-definition Apple TV in 4K during the Apple Special Event keynote
Apple also announced a few other things, one of which is AirPower, a mat on which people can charge their devices. This will come next year and will use Qi wireless charging.