As it has for the past few years, Apple held its annual event during which new product releases were unveiled. Here’s what Apple announced:
■ New iPhones, called the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The iPhone 7 looks just like previous designs, the only difference being the lack of headphone jack. Many speculate that the relative lack of change has to do with the fact that the 10th anniversary of the iPhone is approaching, and they may be saving some big news for that time. This is one of those years that just isn’t as exciting as have been some in the past. Apple is using the iPhone 7 to build in increments to something so amazing as to be unimaginable. The steps on the way can be a bit uninspiring.
The iPhone 7 comes in two sizes, a 4.7-inch screen and a 5.5-inch “Plus” model.
The iPhone 7 does not feature antenna bands. The bands now barely visible on the bottom and top edges.
More colors are becoming available as well. In addition to silver, gold, and rose gold, you can also choose between a glossy “jet black” and a matte black color for the iPhone 7. The jet black replaces the famous space grey color.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will use Apple’s most powerful processor ever — the A10 Fusion. It’s a 64-bit quad-core processor that’s 40 percent faster than the A9 in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. According to Apple, it is 120 times faster than the original iPhone.
■ The new iPhone 7 lacks a headphone jack.
By removing the standard headphone option from the iPhone 7, Apple forces users to connect to headphones through the charging port (using Bluetooth technology). This new feature is being met with some resistance. Like everything new, it makes people nervous. Apple is trying to push consumers into the future of wireless technology, and to improve it in the process. The iPhone 7 is only the beginning of this revolution.
■ The new iPhone 7 has a revised home button with force sensitivity, which will vibrate to give feedback.
The home button of the iPhone 7 features a new version of the TouchID sensor — and it no longer clicks. It simulates a click through a vibration like the Force Touch trackpad on MacBooks. The Force Touch home button offers tap feedback and can be programmed using third-party applications to offer “new feelings and experiences.”
■ The iPhone 7 is water- and dust-resistant.
You can get the phone wet up to one meter, and dust cannot collect as easily. This is great for those people on the go in natural environments, athletes, and clutzes!
■ The Plus model of the new iPhone 7 includes a dual-lens camera to take professional-grade photos.
The major upgrade to the camera is a “dual lens” system on the iPhone 7 Plus that will dramatically improve long-range photos. The 12-megapixel camera of the iPhone 7 has optical image stabilization, a 28 mm wide-angle lens with a f/1.8 aperture, and a high-speed sensor that’s 60 percent faster than before. It also happens to be 30 percent more energy efficient.
The True Tone flash has also improved, with four LEDs offering more light. The flicker sensor can add artificial light as well, for brighter images in low-light scenarios.
The camera can detect faces and bodies and offers wide color capture. There’s now the option for white balance, noise reduction, and combining multiple images. Apple says there are 100 billion operations every time you take a picture, all in the span of 25 milliseconds.
The iPhone 7 supports RAW image, allowing more control for editing photographs.
A new Apple Watch, called Apple Watch Series 2, which includes GPS.
The new Apple Watch is called Apple Watch Series 2. It focuses on health and fitness, using runners, swimmers and gymnasts who wear the watch as major incentive to buy. Apple is really working on increasing the uses and capabilities of the watch, especially its fitness capabilities. It is trying to match major rival FitBit; the Apple Watch Series 2 is water-resistant up to 50 meters (164 feet) and includes GPS to track running. It is also faster than the first Apple Watch.
■ Pokémon Go is available for Apple Watch.
This is a surprise turn around from Nintendo, who has historically refused to allow mobile access. With the Apple Watch, Pokemon will reach the masses of the masses.
■ An update on how Apple Music is performing.
The company now has 17 million subscribers and the service would be the “premier destination for exclusive music.” There is a drive and push to lock up deals with artists at this time.
■ Tweaks to its iWork suite of productivity apps.
iWork will include real-time collaboration, which will allow multiple people to work on documents and presentation slides at the same time. Microsoft and Google have been offering real-time collaboration tools for many years, so Apple is really just catching up.