September 12th was Apple’s Special Event showcasing their upcoming fall items! Apple held the two hour event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. This theater is an awe inspiring building that holds 1000 people in an underground auditorium.
Apple set the tone for the even by opening with a spy themed short. In the film an Apple employee is sprinting to deliver a locked brief case to the auditorium for the event. Throughout the beautiful sequences, Apple showcased their technology in motion from the Airpods to the water resistant Apple Watch to Siri. It also showcased the campus around the Steve Job’s Theater showcasing Apple’s sleek architecture. In the final scene, the brief case is opened and inside… the slide show clicker. Charming twist.
Apple’s event centered around two major themes. The first theme is that Apple is built to continue to be the most personable technology, putting people at the center of their ideas. With Apple shipping its 2 billionth iOS device, it’s not hard to see that they are committed to consistently evolving around the human experience; from how we capture moments and how we share them. Tim Cook dove in to the history of Apple, starting from the first macs to the devices today. Tim also shared pictures of some of the new store aesthetics that are designed to increase customer experience. Tim shared that Apple locations see about 500 million visitors per year.
The second theme Apple revolved around is their commitment to increasing a positive impact on the environment. Apple now runs 100% on renewable energy from all of the Apple stores down to their data maintenance centers. That means every time you send an iMessage it’s processing through clean energy. They are utilizing recycled pieces into their new devices without compromising the integrity of the product to help limit waste. Apple also has the Apple Give Back program where anyone can come in and trade in an Apple device. If that device can be reused, they will give you a credit. If it can’t be reused, they will make sure to recycle it efficiently. Their next goal is to be able to stop mining materials from the Earth. These themes were prevalent in the new technology that was showcased today.
The First Reveal was the Apple Watch Series 4. This watch is going to come in a larger display with a 40mm option which is 30% increase in screen size from previous model, and a 42 mm option that is 35% larger in screen size. The watch will be thinner than previous models, and will have a curved bevel between screen and edge, making it a smooth transition. The digital crown will have haptic feedback which has been a huge ask from watch users.
Another huge design improvement is the microphone has been moved to the opposite side of the speaker to reduce feedback and increase clarity when using Siri and making calls. They have also modified the speakers which will now be 50% louder. The back is black ceramic and crystal to increase connectivity with Wi-Fi and cellular reception.
The inside of the Apple Watch Series 4 is just as impressive as the outside. Inside, the device is running off the S4-64 bit dual core making it 2x faster than previous series. Apple will be introducing new watch faces that will be more customizable even allowing some to let you connect to an important contact by a touch to their picture. In my opinion, there are two huge features that set this smart watch above any smart watch currently on the marked. The first feature is fall detection, where the accelerometer and gyroscope will recognize a fall and will send you an alert to see if you are ok. If the alert is not answered in one minute, the watch will start calling 911 and sending an alert to your designated contacts. The second game changing feature is an FDA approved built in ECG. This is the first time ECG will be available over the counter. It will work with the electrodes inside the black crystal and the digital crown to provide and ECG where you can keep tracked in your Health app and share as a PDF with your doctor. The President of the American Heart Association, Dr. Ivor J. Benjamin, took the stage to applaud Apple’s innovations and to state that this will forever change the future of medicine. He also said this will be a game changer in diagnosing heart conditions.
The Apple Watch will come in a stainless steel option in stainless and black, a metal casing option in silver, gold, and space gray. All previous bands will still fit series 4 and Apple announced new band designs from Nike and other makers. The Apple Watch with cellular will start at $499, the Apple with Nike will start at $399 and the Apple Watch series 3 will be reduced to $279. You can preorder the Series 4 watch starting September 14th, available on September 21st. Watch OS will launch September 17th.
The next device reveal is what everyone has been speculating over since the last release… the iPhone reveal. With iPhone being ranked worldwide as the #1 smartphone with 98% customer satisfaction, Apple can’t afford to have a letdown like the 5c. This year, Apple came to slay yet again. The new phones announced will be the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. That’s right, three new models are being released this year with a lot to offer.
Let’s dive in with the IPhone XS and the XS Max. These phones will be released with the rounded screen, full length display, surgical grade stainless steel bands for increased connection, and the most durable glass in a smart phone. They will be available in gold, silver, and space gray finishes. It will be water resistant IP68, allowing submersion up to 2 meters. The phones will have a super retina display OLED. The iPhone XS will have a 5.8″ display, the iPhone XS Max will have a 6.5″ screen. Both displays will have a 60% increased dynamic range for increased displays. The speakers have been improved to now offer wider audio allowing recording and playback in stereo sound. The battery on the iPhone XS is a half hour longer battery life then the X and the iPhone XS Max is 1 hour longer than the IPhone X. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will have Dual Sim Dual Standby technology allowing customers to have two numbers actively on the device. This is a big upgrade for business customers, international travelers, and superheroes.
The third phone model being released is the iPhone XR. This model is built to have a lower price point for customers without sacrificing quality. The XR model is the avenger of the 5c nightmares. The XR will come in some new colors blue, white, yellow, coral, black, and red. The iPhone XR, instead of the 5c dipped plastic, will have Aluminum casing with glass on the back. It will be IP67 water resistant. The iPhone XR will also have an edge to edge display, but will be LCD. The LCD on this model is the highest quality in any current smart phone models and Apple has named the new LCD technology Liquid Retina Display. The Display size will be 6.1″, which is the current display size of the iPhone 8 plus, but will be smaller in size. The battery life will be 1.5 hours longer than the 8 plus.
All of the new iPhone models will come with some top of the line updates. In each phone will be the A12 bionic chip. The phones will be able to handle five trillion operations per second. Apps on the new chip will load 30% faster with iOS 12 update. All the phones will be utilizing the improved front facing technology for facial recognition. The phones will use machine learning real time to help applications like the camera, Siri, and augmented reality experiences to deliver better quality. AR has been improved with AR kit2 and AR quick look to help pave the paths for enhance augmented reality applications like Directive Games, who will be launching some classic games with an AR concept this year. The new specs will also pave the way for gaming on the new phones to be next level. Bethesda showed a preview of the upcoming Elder Scrolls game, Blades, that will be released later on to the iOS platform and it was beautiful!
The camera on the new iPhone, which is noted as the most popular camera on a smart phone, will also be getting an upgrade. All models will have the same front facing camera, 7 MP. The iPhone XS and XS Max will both have dual cameras on the back. The iPhone XR will have a single camera on the back. However thanks to the premium upgrades, all three phones will have the Portrait option. The iPhone XS and XS Max will be utilizing the dual cameras where the iPhone XR will be using software. The Portrait mode also now will be able to adjust depth of field after the picture is taken. These updates will certainly give even the DSLRs some serious competition.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be available for preorder on September 14th, releasing on September 21st. The iPhone 10R will be available for preorder on October 19th, released on October 26th. iPhone XS and XS Max will come in three storage sizes: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. iPhone XR will be released in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. iPhone XR price point starts at $749, IPhone XS $999, and IPhone XS Max $1099. With the new phones, the some older models are taking a price cut as well. iPhone 7 will be starting at $449, and the iPhone 8 – $599. The new iOS 12 will launch on September 17th.
Even if you are Team Android, it is always exciting to see any new updates to technology. With Smartphones impacting so much of what we do and wearables following suit, it leads me to wonder: how far are we from the society we deem just Sci-Fi and fantasy? Where will this technology take us next? I am certainly ready to find out.
All pictures taken during the Apple Keynote live stream 09/12/2018