This is the event that most of us Apple fans have been waiting for. The September Apple event usually means a focus on mobile products, specifically the long awaited iPhone 10th anniversary edition device. The rumor mill has been cranking out different ideas for months and it all came down to this event.
Welcome from Tim
Before I get started with the actual announcement content, I have to comment on the introduction of the Steve Jobs Theater. What a truly beautiful building. You can tell that every little detail was well thought out, especially with Steve Job’s name going on the place. The opening to the stream started with a tour/walk down to the seats. The seats are all bench style and it looks comfortable and perfect for Apple.
The event started with a recording from Steve Jobs, proving to be a very emotional time for everyone in the room, including Tim when he took the stage. The dedication of the theater to Steve included a great introduction from Tim showcasing a black stage with a photo of Steve smiling behind him on stage.
Apple Park and Steve Jobs Theater
Time provided some updates on Apple Park and the Steve Jobs Theater. Buildings + park = inspirational and open environment for employees. From parking lot, it is now 175 acre green space with over 9000 trees. Apple Park is powered 100% by renewable energy with the huge array of solar panels located directly on campus. The visitors center will open up later this year where everyone will be able to visit and learn about Apple and Apple Park.
The Apple retail environment is getting an overhaul. Not known as stores, but “town squares”, the people and connection with Apple products humanize the technology and the experience. Simple and beautiful design is the retail experience in itself. Customers now have a place to hang out, work with one another, and the larger stores provide a place for entrepreneurs to work directly with Apple. The “avenues” or retail walls will change regularly and update with the seasons. “Today at Apple” provide different programs that revolve around their apps and products. This personal connection with consumers will continue to take Apple technology beyond the device and into their daily life. They will continue to open up stores, invest in the online experience, and continue to overhaul the current stores.
Apple Watch continues to see growth of 50% year to year. It is now the #1 watch in the world. A video showcase of actual users is showcased in the presentation. To start everything off, a review of some of the upcoming features of WatchOS4 that were showcased at WWDC17. The heart rate app is getting an overhaul to provide more information. New measurements will be available like resting rate and recovery heart rate. This will allow for better tracking throughout the day. Another feature will be a notification of a high heart rate when you don’t appear to be active (early health warning system). In a continuation of their medical drive, the Apple Heart Study will begin with Stanford Medicine to use watch data to track irregular heart conditions.
The big thing, we already all knew, is that Series 3 has cellular built into the watch itself. This allows people to go for a run, go to the beach, or take a quick errand, without having to bring their phone. The number is the same number as your iPhone. This will be an extension of your number. Coming next month, the new watch will be able to stream Apple Music. Streaming on the go, on your watch? Sounds good to me!
The watch has a dual core processor which allows Siri to be quicker and talk back to you (no more text only). The W2 chip allows better power efficiency over WiFi and Bluetooth. The watch will be able to track stairs and movement up and down. The watch will have an electronic sim built into the watch, so no worries about dealing with micro chips. The size of the series 3 also won’t grow in size (compared to the series 2). New bands are coming in new materials and colors. Specifically the gray ceramic watch will be available to compliment the white released last year. Two versions will be available: Cellular $399 and Non-cellular $329. It will be available on Sept 15 for orders with availabliliy on Sept 22.
Apple TV 4K is the announcement we were all waiting for. In addition to 4K, Apple TV will now support HDR 10. To upscale the experience, the screen savers have all been remastered with 4K HRD technology. It will have an A10X chip making it the fastest Apple TV yet. 4K movies will be provided at the same price as HD videos in iTunes and everything you’ve purchased already will be upgraded to 4K (when available by the provider). Mention of Amazon Prime was made again, just like at WWDC, but still no date has been provided.
As more network partnerships have been made, live news and live sports will be brought to the TV App. This includes notifications to prompt you about your favorite items. The ecosystem of Home automation and the bridge between Apple products will continue and be stronger than ever before. The new Apple TV 4K unit will be available on September 22, with pre-orders on September 15. Apple TV 32GB will be available for $149, the 32GB 4K will start at $179 and 64GB for $199.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
The design is all new. Apple has changed back to a glass front and back. It will be available in silver, space gray, and a new gold finish. The glass design is reinforced by steel and copper. Apple claims the glass will be the strongest ever for any smart phone. It is sealed for water and dust. The retina displays will be 4.7″ for the iPhone 8 and 5.5″ for the iPhone 8 plus.
The new phones have better speakers which will be louder and have better bass support. The new A11 Bionic chip will make this the fastest phone ever. It has a six-core CPU (2 are high performance and 4 are high efficiency). For the first time ever, there is an apple designed GPU allowing for the best graphic experience including 3D and metal 2 framework.
The camera will be a 12MP camera, with an all-new sensor, which means better colors and deeper pixels. The iPhone 8 Plus will have dual cameras. One will be f/1.8 and one is f/2.8. The engineers were challenged to solve a major problem with cellular photos, lighting. Portrait lighting is in beta which allows the cameras to create a depth chart separating the subject from the background. Portrait mode gives you a new lighting effect menu to analyze and change the lighting on your subject.
We saw Apple showcasing their drive into augmented reality back at WWDC. The iPhone 8 is calibrated for AR with motion tracking. This now gives programmers a dedicated device to focus on through their development. Spacial lighting and sound provide a realistic fully involved environment.
Wireless charging will be an option for the iPhone 8 due to the back being made of glass. Using the Qi open wireless charging standard, this will allow easy development moving forward. Different businesses will be able to start to integrate wireless charging into tables, locations, and more.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in 64GB and 256GB sizes at $699/$799. Pre-orders start on September 15. Phone availability starts on September 22. iOS 11 is being released on September 19.
ONE MORE THING….
iPhone X (ten)
A complete re-design. Glass on front and back. Band is surgical grade stainless steel. It is water and dust resistant. Will be in Space Gray and Silver. It will have an all new Super Retina Display. 5.8″ diagonal OLED screen (2436×1125). It has 458ppi which is the most pixel density in an iPhone ever. The home button is gone. Just tap the screen for it to wake from sleep. A simple swipe up from the bottom will return you to the home screen. To activate multitasking, just swipe up and hold.
iPhone X will not have finger print identification. FaceID, the much rumored face detection is true. At the top of the display, there is a true depth camera system. The full scanning of your face happens in real time using a neural engine that combines multiple readings to verify it is actually you. It then continually adjusts every time you scan to make sure it learns your face and adapts as you change. Day or night, it will scan successfully. Photographs cannot fake out the system and it has even been tested against professional masks. Face data is not transmitted, it is stored on the device. This makes everyone happy about having that data out in the public.
Personalized emojis (animoji) is the fun little addition that nobody needs but everyone will use. The animoji will track your face and allow you to truly send your expressions through the artwork.
The specs of the hardware are truly impressive and the extra 2 hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 7 makes everyone happy. The iPhone X will be available in November. Pre-order starts on October 27. 64GB will be $999 and 256GB will be $1149.
This was a great live event for Apple. So many new products that are all impressive. These upgrades are the ones people have been waiting