This year’s iPhone launch event is turning out to be as exciting as the original launch event from 2007. Apple’s iconic, money-making product is going through a revolutionary change. The iPhone people have known and loved for the past decade may have gotten several features; but certain aspects of the device have remained the same. For example, the Home button has been central to navigating an iPhone since the first iteration. The tenth-anniversary iPhone boldly is going to change that familiarity, along with other never-seen-before features.
Alongside multiple iPhones, we’re also going to get a new Apple Watch and also an updated Apple TV. Also, this will be the first event to be held in Apple’s new spaceship-inspired campus called Apple Park.
So, without further ado, let’s quickly recap what we’re going to experience on 12th September.
Three New iPhones
By now, it is 99 percent certain that there are going to be three new iPhones launched on Tuesday. Two of them will feature a design similar to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, while the third will bear an edge-to-edge screen with additional features like face recognition. There’s no clarity on their naming yet — whether the typical-looking models be called ‘iPhone 7s’ and ‘iPhone 8’ being reserved for the all-screen model. Then there are rumors of all phones being put under the ‘iPhone 8’ brand, with the best of class device being addressed as the ‘iPhone Pro’, ‘iPhone Edition’, or most-likely ‘iPhone X’. You can take a look at all the combinations and vote on what you think they’ll be called.
The more traditional-looking iPhones will get glass backs to enable wireless charging, will feature the Apple A11 chip, and camera improvements, better water resistance, among other things. Their pricing tiers will be in line with the $649 and $769 starting price of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus today. The third iPhone will expectedly be more expensive, reportedly starting at $900 at least.
This tenth-anniversary edition iPhone will be launching along with the other two more typical iPhones. The biggest changes include a large 5.8-inch OLED edge-to-edge display packed in a relatively compact body. The display is said to be of a higher resolution than previous iPhones (at 2436 x 1125 pixels, resulting in a 462 PPI pixel density). This iPhone 8 will also drop the iconic Home Button and Touch ID fingerprint authentication along with it — and instead use a new facial recognition technology dubbed Face ID.
Apart from accurately detecting your face (and not a photo or video of you) in under 2 milliseconds, the system is supposedly very advanced, and can understand when your gaze shifts away. Interestingly, the face recognition hardware will also be used to keep your phone screen lit for as long as you’re looking at it — something Samsung has done using front-facing cameras for several years, albeit without absolute success.
The phone’s front and rear camera improvements include 4K video recording at 60 frames per second and a new “Portrait Lighting” feature (by the name it sounds like an enhancement to the popular Portrait Mode). All 2017 iPhones are said to feature Optical Image Stabilisation on both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses (the iPhone 7 Plus only had OIS for the wide-angle camera). The cameras will feature better depth-sensing abilities that should help with the massively-popular ARKit apps springing up lately.
The all-screen iPhone will also feature a big 2700mAh L-shaped battery, which should deliver a fairly long up-time. Finally, while the typical two iPhones models will have 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options, the redesigned iPhone will reportedly start at 64GB, and may go all the way up to 512GB.
Alongside the new iPhones, iOS 11’s arrival date to existing iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices will be made known. There are several new features in iOS 11 — the most notable ones include a customisable Control Center, screen recording, screenshot annotations, drag-and-drop support in iPads, etc.
Apple Watch Series 3
After bringing the original Apple Watch to stores in 2015, the product has seen one major update in the form of Apple Watch 2 last year. While keeping the design the same, the second generation added support for GPS, along with a brighter screen (up to 1000 nits), and made it capable to be used while swimming (water resistance of up to 50 meters). The Apple Watch 3 will also likely follow the same iterative path, adding a much-requested feature to the same design — LTE.
LTE is confirmed to be present on the Apple Watch Series 3. It will let people use the watch entirely without a connection to an iPhone over Bluetooth or to a WiFi router. This means you could stream songs using Apple Music on a pair of Bluetooth headphones connected to the Watch directly while exercising, avoiding the need to take your phone. Or you could get directions, reply to texts, book a cab, etc just with the watch.
Leaked iOS 11 code also suggests that the Watch can have the same phone number as the iPhone; maintaining consistency when making or receiving phone calls on your wrist. Telecom operators expectedly will charge an extra fee to enable cellular connectivity on the Apple Watch. The watch will make use of an eSIM, which means there’s no physical SIM to insert to get locked to a cellular network.
Cellular connectivity on smartwatches until now has been largely a terrible experience. Several Android Wear watches that have implemented it have suffered from poor battery life, despite being thick and heavy. There are strong hopes that Apple will deliver an LTE smartwatch that isn’t bulky, with the same reasonable battery life as its previous generations.
Though, what remains to be seen is whether there will be improvements to the performance of the new Watch — the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 1 had a faster, dual-core chip compared to the single-core chip of the original Apple Watch. Along with hardware improvements, we should also get to know when watchOS 4 will roll out to existing Apple Watches. watchOS 4 has better health and activity tracking features, improved music integration, a dynamic Siri Watch Face, and a whole lot more.
Apple TV 5
The Apple TV got its biggest update yet in 2015 with the 4th generation model. The Apple TV 4 was a box bearing hardware similar to an iPhone 6, running an iOS-like operating system designed for the big screen called tvOS, and controlled by a voice-enabled Touchpad Remote.
The biggest change Apple TV 5 is said to bring is support for 4K content, with support for standards like HDR10 and Dolby Vision. iPhones have been recording in 4K for years now, and high-def content is also being made available by services like Netflix. 4K TVs have also become commonplace today, with models supporting both 4K and HDR costing less than $700. It is suggested that Apple will also launch movie titles in 4K on their iTunes store along with the device.
To enable this ultra high definition video playback, the chip inside Apple TV 5 would likely be bumped up to Apple’s A10 chip. The reason why it’ll be the A10 and not the newest A11 is potentially due to cost savings (Apple TV is an inexpensive product, starting at $149). Also, when Apple TV 4 launched with iPhone 6s — the latter was powered by the faster A9 chip while the former was fitted with the A8, so we believe the same pattern will follow.
The TV app that aggregates content from various sources is also said to throw live TV sources to the mix. And speaking of software, tvOS will also get updated to version 11, bringing features like automatic light and dark mode, better AirPods support, AirPlay 2 support, etc. But probably what’s more exciting is that the long-promised Amazon Prime Video app will be coming to tvOS soon.
So here’s an update that we didn’t realise we may be seeing this early — iOS 11’s Golden Master firmware also reveals a tweaked version of AirPods that may also be revealed on 12th September. Though they may bear minor changes — from the images retrieved it seems as if the battery status LED has been moved from the inside to the exterior of the charging case.
Also, alongside all the new iPhones, Apple TV 5, Apple Watch Series 3 and revised AirPods, Apple will also announce when the highly anticipated iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11 will be released to the public.
There you have it. We wish you a happy weekend and hope that you enjoy the 12th September event. Let us know which new product you’re excited about the most in the comments, and why?