Apple has just revealed a new range of smartphones, including the iPhone XR and iPhone XS, a serious Apple Watch revamp and several software updates
Photo credit: Apple
Rumours, speculations and leaks have circulated for weeks about what Tim Cook, CEO at Apple, would reveal at the tech titan’s event on Wednesday September 12. However, while most of the gadgets unveiled at the annual presentations had already been more or less confirmed prior to presentation, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t plenty of things to get excited about. Here’s our quick take on everything Apple revealed at the event.
Photo credit: Apple
Apple Watch Series 4
“The Apple Watch has redefined what a watch can do for you,” Cook remarked centre stage of a packed Steve Jobs Theatre. So it’s only fitting that Apple kicked off by presenting the serious upgrade from last year’s Series 3.
Let’s start with the specs. The Apple Watch Series 4 will come in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. Both versions come complete with speakers that are 50% louder than the ones from 2017’s model. The smartwatch boasts an S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor and a promised 18-hour battery life. And just like in the Series 3, the Series 4 will come in two versions: one without mobile connectivity and one with.
But what was really clear was that the Apple Watch Series 4 more than anything is a healthtech device. The new gizmo will be able to track if the user experiences a hard fall and can automatically alert emergency services if the user remains unresponsive after a minute. Moreover, electrodes built into the crown can provide accurate ECGs and detect heart arrhythmia. No wonder the Apple Watch Series 4 is supported by the American Heart Association and is cleared by the FDA.
Commenting on the latest iteration of the smartwatch, Jeff Williams, COO at Apple, said: “The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an indispensable communication and fitness companion and now with the addition of groundbreaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app offered directly to consumers, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health.”
The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available to pre-order on Friday September 14 and hit stores on Friday September 21. The price will start at $399 without connectivity and at $499 with.
Photo credit: Apple
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
Cook wasn’t kidding when he said that the two latest additions to Apple’s phablet family were the most advanced iPhones ever. Riffing off the iPhone X from last year, the new 5.8-inch Apple XS and 6.5-inch Apple XS Max bring a lot of new cool stuff to the table.
Both come packing Super Retina displays, wider stereo sound and a lovely new gold finish for those with a penchant for shiny things. Moreover, both smartphones will introduce dual SIM cards so the same phone can take both private and professional calls without entangling the two bills.
Entrepreneurs accustomed to hashing out strategies and innovations on beermats are probably also very excited to hear that the smartphones has improved water resistance to protect against everyday spills like coffee, soda and booze.
The new and improved 7mm A12 Bionic chip doesn’t just boost the overall performance of the gadgets but also enables the Face ID introduced last year to work faster and better. The improved TrueDepth camera system’s depth-sensing technology means more security for unlocking the iPhone or using it to pay for things and better pictures to boot.
If you’re one for updating your investors and followers about the advances of your startup, both new phones feature a dual camera system. That means the front has two cameras – a 12MP wide-angle camera with a new image stabilisation sensor and a 12MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom – to allow for some truly stunning photographs.
Add to that new and improved augmented reality solutions, boosted battery life as well as the ability to record sound in stereo and it’s easy to see why the asking price starts at $999 and $1,099 respectively for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. Both phones will be available with at 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage capacity.
You can pre-order them on Friday September 14 and buy them in stores on Friday September 21.
Photo credit: Apple
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like spending a grand on a new iPhone – the Apple event also introduced a new cheaper option. Luckily though, the iPhone XR still comes complete with some of the solutions included in its more expensive siblings.
For instance, the iPhone XR has the same A12 Bionic chip, TrueDepth camera system and Face ID as the XS range, albeit only using a single 12MP lens camera instead of the dual system found in the others. The 6.1-inch all-screen Liquid Retina display also offers a stunning visual experience.
Moreover, the next-generation Neural Engine is built for advanced machine learning in everything from photography to augmented reality.
Commenting on the new model, Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, concluded: “iPhone XR makes it possible for even more people to have the great experience of the latest iPhone X technology in beautiful new designs at a more affordable price.”
Speaking of the price, the iPhone XR will start at $749 and will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red finishes. However, you’ll have to wait to pre-order it until Friday October 19 and until Friday October 26 to grab it in stores.
Apple also announced a few software updates at the event. For instance, the new version of its mobile operating system iOS 12 will be available on Monday September 17.
Apple’s Amazon Alexa adversary the HomePod will receive an update at the same time. This will enable two smart speakers to work better together and will also include improved Siri capabilities as well as added support for Spanish in the US, Spain and Mexico as well as Canadian French.
On the computer side, MacBook and Mac owners can look forward to the new desktop operating system macOS Mojave to be released on September 24.