Every year about this time Apple introduces a new iPhone and 2017 was no different. What was introduced at this event was remarkably different. From my perspective a certified Apple watcher, this was a new and improved Apple spreading its wings.
If you’ve never watched an Apple Event then I encourage you to watch this one. With a few hiccups, it was one of the best events ever; just under two hours of show and tell of mostly expected new products (thanks to a few choice leaks just ays before the event). Click here to see the event. Continue reading for brain drain synopsis.
Gone In 60-seconds
With the exception of a single bathroom break, I watched the 2017 event live and from beginning to end. I took a few notes along the way. This even had a One More Thing but no real surprises. It was held in Steve Jobs Theater within the company’s new Apple Park headquarters. The presentation itself was straightforward and typical Apple but this time it was packed with new products and gave a live look at the future.
Apple Park – Apple CEO Tim Cook dedicated Steve Jobs Theater to the late co-founder. Retail store boss Angela Ahrendts strolled onstage wearing a large lace doily coat to describe the new Apple Stores. They’re now Apple Town Square. Not every town gets one, and they’re not always square, but they represent a different way to learn about Apple’s products.
Watch – VP Jeff Williams introduced Apple Watch Series 3, and this one comes with a cellphone option built it. Starting at $399. With watchOS 4 Watch comes with more exercise and heart feature, and even an elevated hart rate alert. The cellphone connectivity uses your iPhone’s cell number but doesn’t need the iPhone any more. Siri can talk to you on the iPhone, too. And, with new AirPods, you can stream 40-million songs from Apple Music onto the watch and into your ears.
Apple TV – Eddy Cue strolled on stage to introduce Apple TV 4K with HDR, DolbyVision and a long string of 4K content ready to be streamed. If you’ve bought movies on iTunes in HD, you’ll get a 4K HDR upgrade movie for free. Amazon Prime and 4K movies are coming, too. But you’ll pay as much as $199 for the privilege. The old Apple TV remains at $149 but only with 32GB.
iPhone 8 – VP Phil Schiller introduced iPhone 8 in two models; iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch display, and iPhone 8 Plus with a 5.5-inch display. Both models have improved cameras, faster A11 Bionic CPU, LCD HD displays, a glass-steel-aluminum frame and case, wireless charging using the Qi open wireless standard, 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 240fps for slow motion. As usual, the camera will steal the show with Portrait Lighting to go with Portrait mode, TrueTone display, and the 6-core CPU makes it all run. You can pre-order September 15 and both models will be available September 22.
iPhone 8 X – That’s iPhone 8 X and in iPhone 10 and not iPhone 8 EX. Still under $1,000 for the base model, iPhone X represents a new Apple with more iPhones in a broader price spectrum. The display is edge-to-edge, 5.8-inches so the phone is smaller than an iPhone 8 Plus but has a larger display. The T.A.R.D.I.S. lives. What you get is Face ID three dimensional face recognition, an OLED display with HDR, and no Home button. It’s gone. The secret in the sauce is the TrueDepth camera which powers Face ID.
It sprays out tens of thousands of infrared light dots which are captured by the camera and that maps your face in 3D. The image is saved in the CPU’s secure enclave just like it was with Touch ID (which, by the way, it gone). iPhone 8 X starts at $999 but won’t be available until November.
That’s it. 60-seconds? If you’re a fast reader, yes. If not, my apologies.
The video presentation will give you plenty of details, but Apple already has most of what you need to know about iPhone 8, iPhone 8 X, Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K online.
This is a new Apple. The presentation was tight and moved quickly. All the presenters had a few verbal hiccups, and the first iPhone 8 X didn’t recognize VP Craig Federighi’s face, but his backup phone did. What I expect to happen is the obvious. Face ID will show up in future devices; iPad, Mac, and a bit further into the future, maybe Apple’s own television will resurface and perform some face recognition on your whole family.