After weeks of rumors and speculation, Apple has debuted several major new products, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the Apple Watch Series 2 and much more.
There were a wide range of announcements at Apple’s high-profile event today, including a surprise visit by legendary game maker Shigeru Miyamoto, who announced a new Mario game called Super Mario Run that will be arriving first on iOS before the end of the year. Other not-iPhone announcements included real-time collaboration support for iWork, a Pokemon Go app for Apple Watch, and a revamp of Apple Music’s design.
But now for the real exciting news:
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
The next iPhone is almost here, and today Apple unveiled plenty of juicy details about the new device, including its ultra-powerful processor, improved camera, and brighter display.
The iPhone 7 is powered by the new Apple A10 Fusion chip, a quad-core 64bit processor that combines both speed and efficiency that make it about 50 percent faster than the A9 while consuming two-thirds the amount of power. According to Apple, two of the chip’s cores focus on performance, while the other two focus on power consumption. The iPhone 7 uses an Apple-designed performance controller that decides which processes should run on each core.
Apple also touted the phone’s new 12-megapixel camera with improved light sensing and motion stabilization. The iPhone 7 Plus even comes with a second telephoto camera that offers a few new features, including up to 10x zoom and the ability to take shallow depth of field pictures in a new “portrait” photo mode.
No headphone jack after all
It also turns out that one of the biggest rumors about the new iPhone was indeed true: the iPhone 7 will not include a headphone jack, instead relying on its Lightning connection port or the new wireless AirPods. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, admitted that some people might be worried about this decision, and he said that the decision required “the courage to move on, do something new that betters all of us.”
Shiller noted that space is at a premium in smartphones, and removing the analog headphone jack will allow Apple to pack more useful hardware into its devices. He also pointed out that the Lightning port is better than the headphone jack because it can supply power and other features to peripherals.
Fortunately, the iPhone 7 will come with EarPods that use a Lightning connection, as well as an analog adapter that will allow users to continue using their current headphones.
The shiniest iPhone yet
When it came to the design of the phone, Apple made a point to discuss how shiny the new iPhone is, complete with a video narrated by Jony Ives that goes into detail about the process used to make the device extra-special shiny for the new “jet black” version. If you don’t like shiny phones, Apple is also offering a matte version, simply called “black,” and of course you can still get gold, silver, or rose gold.
Pre-orders for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus go live on September 9, and the devices will begin shipping a week later on September 16.
To go along with its removal of the analog headphone jack, Apple has announced a new wireless device called AirPods, an advanced set of wireless earbuds that feature beamforming microphones, infrared sensors, and more.
AirPods are able to sense when they are being worn so they only emit sound when you are actively using them, and Apple says that they can be charged for up to 5 hours of battery life, and they come with a charging case that can support up to 24 hours of battery. Users can wear one or both pods at a time, and they can be used to access Siri with a double tap.
The new AirPods will retail for $159 and will release in October.
Apple Watch Series 2
The smartwatch industry may not be seeing the same meteoric rise that smartphones did, but Apple says that it is still leading the charge for the devices, and today it revealed the upcoming Apple Watch Series 2, which includes a faster CPU, more powerful GPU, and a number of other improvements.
The new version’s upgrades prove that Apple is still heavily focused on targeting physically active users. For example, the Apple Watch Series 2 is fully water resistant up to an impressive 50 meters, allowing it to be worn while swimming. Apple noted that speakers require air to function, which makes waterproofing difficult. That is why the company designed a special speaker that is capable of ejecting water when used, allowing wearers to hop out of the pool and then immediately start using the speaker again.
Series 2 also now includes built-in GPS, allowing users to take advantage of a number of exercise app features without having to bring their phone along.
The Apple Watch Series 2 comes in three body styles, including aluminum, stainless steel, and white ceramic. The watch retails for $369, and it is set to begin shipping on September 16.
For more in-depth information about Apple’s new products and software updates, below are a few sites with detailed coverage of the announcements. You can also watch the full two-hour recording of Apple’s press event here. Note: You will need an Apple device, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to watch the video. No, it doesn’t make sense to us either.