Apple Special Event — iPhone X
It’s high time we took a shot of an isotonic sports drink!!
Oh yea, this is to get rid of the hangover from last night’s Apple Special Event. It was just too good and that would be an understatement.
This event is truly special not only for people at Apple but for Steve Jobs fans from all around the world. Apple held it’s first-ever keynote event at the “Steve Jobs Theatre” on its new “spaceship” campus, where it introduced a bevy of new products.
The campus is a beauty! It’s worth being listed on the YOLO trips!
Event started with a tribute to Steve Jobs.
In a recorded speech broadcast over the speakers, his voice talked about the importance of the brand’s identity and remembering “what’s really important to us” and staying true to the company’s values. “That’s what’s going to keep Apple, Apple, is if we keep us, us,” he said in the short opening monologue.
… and Tim Cook continued to refresh everyone’s memories by stating Steve’s Vision of Apple’s Spaceship campus.
“Steve’s vision for Apple Park was to create an incredible workplace of the future, where designer & developers could collaborate on the next generation of Apple products to change the world!” — Tim Cook!
Alright! Wow, that was some emotional and intricate moment!!
There are some stellar announcements and let’s get to it
First up — Apple Watch Series 3:
To start with, Apple Watch is now the no.1 watch in the world, above Rolex, Fossil, Omega, Cartier, etc.,
· Series 3 now has cellular connectivity, : meaning you won’t need to keep your phone nearby in order to make phone calls, get directions or stream music. This is a huge step forward in terms of making the watch mobile independent.
· The Watch will use a separate connection when away from the phone, but it will still use the same phone number so that messages and texts all get to you regardless of whether you have your phone or watch with you or not.
· Apple promises that the watch still packs in an all-day battery life (would last up to 18 hours).
· Apple is also improving the heart rate app for Watch software with new features.
· Unlike the current watch versions in the market, Siri talks back. When you ask Siri a question using your Series 3 watch, you won’t have to look at your screen anymore — it will respond to your query using your watch’s speaker.
Looks like Apple kicked out Series 2, because, we only get to see the updated prices of Series 1 and then the prices of Series 3.
If you love staying connected all the time, Series 3 is the answer. It is now made easy to even make and answer calls irrespective of whether you have your phone near to your watch or not.
Second up — Apple TV 4K
As the leaks revealed, Apple announced Apple TV 4k. Apple TV 4K is an Apple TV that adds support for 4K video. Along with
· The boosted resolution,
· The Apple TV 4K supports HDR video
· The Apple TV 4K is compatible with both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision specifications, and will be able to play back 4K HDR content
Apple specifically called out Netflix and Amazon Prime video to go with the new apple TV 4K.
Best part, the iTunes Store will also be selling movies and TV shows in 4K and HDR for the same price as HD content, with no charge to upgrade titles that you already own.
That’s all from Apple TV.
Now, we talk about one the event’s biggest announcements
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
The leaks and rumours are pretty much spot on, the naming of these 2 new devices are as rumoured.
These phones are a more pedestrian upgrade to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, not sure why did Apple decide to name them 8 and 8 Plus leaving out the culture of “S”.
These phones are packed with some exciting features and decent improvements — The materials, design, CPU, graphics, ISP, speakers, camera, and charging (wireless) all changed. Apple made the iPhone 8 stronger and more durable with the addition of aerospace aluminium and a more durable glass. Here are some notable changes we can talk about –
· Apple finally enters the wireless charging world — the long awaited feature is finally here
· New glass back, which helps in wireless charging
· A more powerful A11 Bionic processor — making it 70% faster than the A10 chip
· Bunch of improvements to the camera
o Portrait Mode Lightning — The cameras create a depth map to detect the lighting and then uses AI to compose the lighting so that faces are brighter or the background is darker. You can swipe through different lighting effects.
o The camera sensors are larger and faster
o It’s still 12MP but has deeper colours and better saturation
It’s a nice upgrade to the iPhone 7, but it kind of feels more like a 7S.
One of the best parts of this keynote is “Perfected AR” (augmented reality).
Apple deeply integrated the iPhone 8 cameras with augmented reality. There are new gyroscopes and accelerometers to deliver the best experience for motion tracking. It does real-time lighting estimation too. A new gyroscope, accelerometer, and factory tuning bring AR to the iPhone in a big way.
One more thing ….
Yes, there is more as usual..
Biggest and the exciting announcement of this keynote, Introducing iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10”).
As I keep saying in all my articles about Apple, “Apple almost never fails to surprise you” (not at least when we hear these magical words “One more thing”).
As rumours suggested, Apple had a third phone to announce at today’s event, the iPhone X. As Tim Cook said, it’s “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
iPhone X has stellar looks, amazing finish and is truly an engineering marvel. There is so much I’m trying to fit right into this article but you have to trust me on this, no matter how much I write, I can assure it will cover only 10% of what the phone is capable of doing.
· Face ID — there is no Home button on iPhone X. So, how do you unlock your phone? iPhone X unlocks your phone display using facial recognition. Apple assures that this is more secure, meaning, chances of another person unlocking your phone is 1 in a million (Whoa!! This is 20X “more secure” metric versus Touch ID). As it creates a facial depth map, it cannot be spoofed with a photo. Also, iPhone X will know how your face looks like from all angles, so, Apple claims that even if you alter your appearance, it will still recognise you.
· Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone X supports wireless charging
· OLED Super retina display, iPhone X has edge to edge 5’8” display. It comes with a Bezel-less display.
· And for Siri, there’s a larger button on the side to wake her, or you could always just use “Hey Siri” to summon her with your voice.
· Apple introduces Animoji — Animoji are emoji that use AR to move realistically with your facial movements. This is super fun, I insist you watch the video.
· Face ID is also used for your payments (Apple Pay)
· Portrait lighting — letting user select their lighting effects, also available for front camera.
And many more ..
Even with all the features packed in, the iPhone X battery life lasts surprisingly two hours longer than the iPhone 7. It is shocking as the iPhone X has so much packed inside.
· I would insist that you wait before you buy the iPhoneX, let it get enough traction in the market and let people give their feedback. This is because, Craig Federighi came onstage to give a demo and show for how easy and fast it is to actually use. Unfortunately, Federighi’s initial attempt to unlock the onstage demo iPhone X was failed. The passcode screen popped up. He then picked up a second iPhone X and the feature worked successfully.
· Don’t want to spend $1,000 on the iPhone X? Well, Apple’s still got a few brand new iPhones (8 and 8 Plus) for you.
Few other things to note –
· Apple introduces wireless charging system as mentioned above and it’s calling it’s charging mats as “Air Power” which will allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time on a single mat (iPhone, Apple Watch and Airpods)
· Now you only get to choose between 2 capacity options — 64GB and 256GB, this for all the new phones that Apple has announced in the event.
· Although Apple did not specifically talk about this feature, iPhoneX, 8 and 8 Plus now supports fast charging
I need to admit that there are a few things that Apple miserably failed at selling. Let’s look at what went wrong –
· The new headquarters was totally undersold, because, Steve Jobs theatre alone was too good to be true.
· The new screen was undersold
· Augmented reality was totally undersold. I over indexed on VR and AR. The average person hasn’t seen it, nor appreciated it. So Apple didn’t feel pressured to do anything regarding those two in the event.
· Google has just been given a gift. Apple could have really done something that would have caused Android fans angst today. It did not. Instead, we’re looking toward the Pixel 2 launch in October with renewed interest in the Android platform because Google Assistant is so superior to Siri it isn’t funny.
Important things to note –
· iOS 11 — will be coming out this September 19th 2017
· MacOS High sierra — September 25th 2017
· iPhone8 and 8 Plus — Pre order in US September 15th 2017. In India, it’s September 29th 2017
· iPhone X — Pre-orders begin Friday, October 27, Ships starting Friday, November 3 in US. In India, it’s November 3rd 2017
· Cost of iPhoneX in India is expected to go beyond Rs. 1Lakh (approx..)
You can thank me later J
All in all, it was one of the best Apple Events ever. Its action packed with a lot of surprises and I’m totally thrilled to see iPhoneX out in the market and not to forget ARKit which is truly powerful. Apple made meaningful improvements that should make the wait worth it. Finally, while Apple has opened up a competitive opportunity with the spread between iPhone X and iPhone 8, I think Apple will sell as many iPhone X units as it can make.