Apple invited the press of the world into the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco and presented a total of 4 new products last night: The iPhone 7, 7 Plus and the Apple Watch Series 2 and new wireless AirPods headphones.
Apple Watch Series 2
The team around Tim Cook has packed the second generation Apple Watch with its own new set of features. Everything has changed on the hardware level: The new dual core CPU makes the Series 2 twice as fast as the previous version, the display is twice as bright at 1000 nits and makes it more comfortable to use outdoors. Again Apple has set its sights on the sports market and has made the watch not just splashproof but also completely waterproof to a depth of 50 meters. The built-in GPS gives runners precise distance and route information after a run. And to complete it all, Apple is now working together with Nike and will be offering the Nike+ Apple Watch which will have a particularly sporty watch strap and watch face. But not only that: The new Series 2 is now not only available to purchase in aluminum, stainless steel (or gold) but also in ceramic!
The new Apple Watch will be available to pre-order from 9 October, priced at $369; WatchOS 3 will be available to download from 16 September – this OS update from Apple provides new features like improved messaging, new watch faces and new sport functions. And naturally the Apple Watch looks most elegant when worn with a KAVAJ Barcelona watch strap.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
The new iPhone was presented only as part of the routine for these announcements; still, what Apple is doing with this new generation iPhone is really interesting. The iPhone received a new lick of paint in time for the Keynote and now besides rose, gold and silver is available in jet black and black. Now you can also admire those colors in the rain as the 7th generation is water and dust proof and Apple’s new sensor (still at 12MP) lets you take better pictures in low-light conditions and in the rain. As a special feature, Apple has integrated optical stabilization not only into the Plus version, but also into the 4.7 inch version as well as a new up to 50% lighter true tone flash.
There is a now a second camera (12MP) integrated into the iPhone 7 Plus. Besides the standard camera with wide-focus lens, the second camera is now fitted with a zoom lens which makes the digital zoom superfluous at times, but it is, in any case, a higher quality zoom. Even the new feature, portrait mode, is only possible on the 7 Plus by using both cameras at once, in which mode a natural blur is added to the background of the portrait, which, according to Apple, can only be achieved otherwise by using professional DSLR cameras.
Though 2 things have been omitted: The haptic home button is replaced with a button with force touch (familiar to those who have used the new MacBooks) which creates feedback using a vibrating motor, which lets it create a real pressure sensation. Revolutionary? Apple has now completely done away with the standard 3.5mm stereo jack, audio output now uses the Lightning port instead – Apple provides a Lightning adapter for a 3.5mm stereo jack out of the box as well as a Lightning EarPod headset, Apple therefore wants to promote networking its devices, now also with audio devices. Connecting the Bluetooth headsets which Apple’s pairing system uses, should work so simply as never before. Hold the headphones next the iPhone, click on connect – that’s it. And for multiple devices from iPhone, to Apple Watch, iPad to your MacBook. Though, that’s not everything Apple audio related: Whilst the iPhone uses the freed up space for speakers, the iPhone 7 is the first with stereo speakers, at the top end of the iPhone as well as the bottom end next to the Lightning port.
To match the new system, Apple has launched its own wireless AirPods which come completely without any cables, just as you’ve become used to with Bluetooth headsets. Each AirPod operates independently and is charged using the transport case provided (with integrated rechargeable battery) which also functions as a charging station.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are a further step forward in keeping with Apple’s way of doing things: Leave the standards behind and redefine them. The new iPhones can be pre-ordered from 9 September and will ship from 16 September. Available in the following capacities: 32GB, 128GB and 256GB from $649.
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