Yesterday saw Apple hold their biggest primary product event of the year with the launch of new iPhones, Watches and headphones sharing the stage with a host of smaller announcements.
The event was classic Apple, bringing what many deem small, incremental innovations to constantly refine and improve established products.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
With a more fundamental redesign of the iPhone rumoured for next year, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could have been a damp squib. However, Apple packed in enough sizzle to keep iPhone-watchers interested, including:
- Updated industrial design: the new models are now water and dust resistant, have an updated home button with haptic feedback and the phones come in a new glossy black finish,
- Camera: the iPhone camera saw a huge update, with improved sensors, flash and image stabilisation, plus new HD front-facing cameras and editing and developer access for live photos. However, the big change was reserved for the larger iPhone 7 Plus, which now has both wide-angle and telephoto cameras to improve the zoom and offer an all-new depth-of-field effect (coming soon),
- Audio: the iPhone caught up with many competitors by adding a stereo speaker system that claims to be twice as loud as the iPhone 6s. Lightning headphones: the audio dock is now gone from the iPhone, and in place you have the option of using the Lightning port with the EarPods. Alternatively, use the converter which comes in the box, or go wire-free with bluetooth headphones,
- Performance: as always, the new iPhone puts its predecessors in the shade with new chips including a quad-core with two high efficiency cores to save your battery and improve graphics,
- iOS 10: Apple also reminded us of all the great updates coming in the latest version of iOS, check out our briefing deck here.
Watch Series 2
Apple also announced an update to their Watch line up. Watch Series 2 includes a faster chip and a brighter screen - of course. However, the real improvements were focused on fitness, with a built-in GPS chip (which developers can utilise).
This means you no-longer have to lug your iPhone around with you when you run, and water resistance means you can safely swim with the Watch.
There were new ranges, too, including a Nike+ special, updated Hermes styles and a new ceramic white Watch Edition.
Apple also recapped what’s coming in the new Watch OS 3, including:
- Improved performance, allowing apps to launch instantly and providing easier access,
- New watch faces and an easier way to switch between multiple faces,
- Sharing options in the core activity app,
- Updates to make Messages more wrist-friendly.
AirPods and Beats headphones
To accompany the death of the audio port, Apple bet big on wireless headphones. This included a range of new wireless Beats headphones, and Apple’s own foray into the space with the unveiling of their new Airpods. Airpods run for just 5 hours on a charge, but the charging case carries up to 24hrs.
Even more interesting is that they also act as a microphone for voice control using Siri, activated by double tapping them. Whilst many have been quick to dismiss Airpods as simply regular earphones without cables, they’re actually highly intelligent computers in their own right.
Apple has signalled the first step toward a ‘voice first’ world, centred around an in-ear device. In doing so, Airpods are likely to become a whole new platform that will pave the way for a future of always-on, omnipresent personal assistance.
- A new Nintendo game ‘Mario Run’ coming to the iPhone,
- Pokemon Go is now on the Watch,
- Pages, Keynote and Numbers get Google Doc style collaboration,
- Apple Pay is coming to Japan, Russia and New Zealand,
- Apple Pay for web launches on the 13th of September.