This September’s Keynote presentation was the first event held at the Steve Jobs Theater. They introduced the new state-of-the-art location, as well as Apple Park, which they will begin moving into later this year. There was plenty of news about new “Town Squares” across the world, and new in-store experiences that have just begun, but here at BetaCrash we’re mostly interested in discussing the new technology announcements.
Watch OS4 and Apple Watch Series 3
First was the news surrounding the Apple Watch. Watch OS4, which we knew was coming, has added smart activity coaching, a completely redesigned workout app, and enhancements to the heart rate monitor, including a partnership with Stanford Medicine and the FDA for something called the Apple Heart Study. Watch OS4 will be available to customers on September 19.
Then they announced the Apple Watch Series 3 – which comes with some pretty impressive improvements. As many people speculated, the new watch has cellular built in. Now you can leave your phone behind when exercising or running an errand, and you can be reached if needed by phone or message. Coming next month, you’ll also be able to stream over 40 million songs from your wrist. It comes with a dual-core processor that is 70% faster, an apple-designed W2 chip, up to 85% faster wi-fi and is 50% more power efficient. It boasts up to 18 hours of battery life so it can last you all day.
In order to add all of these features without making the watch any larger, creative solutions were designed by engineers. The screen itself acts as the antenna, and they’ve integrated an electronic SIM that’s a fraction of the size of a standard SIM card. The case of the watch is the same size as the Series 2 watch, with only a .25mm difference added to the sensor on the back of the watch. There will be a cellular and non-cellular version available. Pre-order opens on September 15, available September 22.
Apple TV 4K
Apple also introduced the Apple TV 4K – featuring HDR quality for better color and details, ideal for large TV screens. A few more exciting additions have also been made: the whole Apple TV UI has been redone, they’re getting the biggest movie releases added to iTunes in 4K, they’re adding live sports and news streaming, and new Apple-exclusive games will be added. Like the Apple Watch, the new Apple TV 4K will be available for ordering on September 15th, and is available on the 22nd.
The iPhone 8/8+
They introduced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8+, which they’re calling a huge step forward for iPhone. Durable glass covers the front and back, which is reinforced with surgical-grade stainless steel, making it the most durable glass on a smartphone yet. The sides have an aerospace-grade aluminum band, and it’s sealed for water and dust resistance. They have new 4.7 and 5.5 inch Retina HD displays with exceptional color accuracy, and new speakers that are 25% louder and with deeper base than the iPhone 7. Inside is a brand new chip called the A11 Bionic, the most powerful and smartest ever, as well as the first ever apple-designed GPU.
The camera capabilities have also been improved in many ways — a 12 megapixel camera with an all new sensor works better in low light. Last year they released Portrait Mode, and this year they are releasing “Portrait Lighting”, which will ship in beta. It simulates professional lighting setups by doing a real-time analysis of the light on the subject’s face. Video has been improved to shoot 4K at 60fps, and slow motion videos at 1080p and 240 fps, double the frame rate as before. The camera is also calibrated for Augmented Reality, which along with the AR Kit, opens a lot of doors for developers.
The glass back on the iPhone 8 also enables wireless charging, something that many people have certainly been hoping for. All Qi certified chargers should work with the iPhone 8, which is a welcome change for Apple customers who are used to needing proprietary chargers. They also told us to look for an efficient charging system called AirPower, which charges multiple devices at once, sometime next year. The phones will will come in 64 gig and 256 gig versions, the iPhone 8 starting at $699 and the iPhone 8+ starting at $799. Preorder is September 15, available September 22. They briefly noted that customers can operate iOS11 starting on September 19.
The iPhone 8 isn’t the only new iPhone coming out this month. They say a phone that’s entirely screen is a product that they’ve been dreaming of creating since the first iPhone ten years ago. The iPhone X (Spoken as iPhone 10), is something they’re calling “the future of the smartphone”, and will hopefully set the path for technology in the next decade.
The 5.8 inch screen spreads edge to edge, top to bottom, with no home button. The front and back are glass as well. It has a 2436×1125 pixel, 458 ppi, OLED, HDR display. It also comes with an entirely new user experience. With no home button, you can just tap on the screen to wake it up. To reach the home screen, you swipe up from the home screen, which holds true across the whole system. For multitasking, you swipe up and pause, where you can then scroll through your active apps. To unlock your phone, they’ve introduced Face ID, what they are considering the new “gold standard” for consumers and their security. It’s made possible using a new “TrueDepth Camera” and sensors housed in a tiny space at the top of the screen. While Touch ID has a 1 in 50,000 chance a stranger can unlock your phone, Face ID chances are 1 in 1,000,000. Face ID can also be used to authenticate Apple Pay and third party apps. Face ID learns and adapts to your face, even if you change hairstyles or wear glasses, and works day or night. This new technology should allow iPhone users to use their phones faster than ever before. The iPhone X comes in 64 gig and 128 gig versions, starting at $999. They will be open for pre-order on October 27, and available on November 3.
As they stated more than once during the presentation, Apple likes to stay at the forefront of technology, encouraging others to follow their steps. They believe that the iPhone X is the future, and with all of the new features accompanying it, and knowing how embedded our phones have become in our day-to-day lives, it just may be.
This is a lot of new devices to come out at once, not to mention the new iOS 11 with all of its new features. Apple’s product releases always gain a lot of attention and have plenty of success, and developers always need to make sure that their apps will work on the latest iPhones.
You can read the Human Interface Guidelines for the iPhone X and iOS11 over on Apple’s developer website. For starters, the iPhone X has 20% more vertical space for content than the iPhone 6, 7, and 8. Apple points out that your app’s layout will need to fill the screen without getting obscured by the rounded corners, the sensor housing on the top, or the indicator for accessing the home screen on the bottom. This, along with the new system-wide gestures, could affect where you place your interactive controls. iOS 11 gives you the ability to incorporate Augmented Reality, better navigation, and Face ID into your apps. The Apple Watch could also see a resurgence in usage, so this could be a good time to think about incorporating a watch app into your product.