When September rolls around, the technology world and Apple lovers alike wait with bated breath to see what new products will be released. This year’s unveiling took place at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, and we livestreamed the event so you didn’t have to. (We know, tough day on the job!).
The iPhone 8 and 8 plus
The first new phone to be revealed was the iPhone 8, which admittedly looks a lot like the iPhone 7. It’s now all-glass and comes in three colors: silver, grey and rose gold. Other notable features include:
- Retina HD display with True Tone technology, which adjusts for the temperature of the light (also used in the iPad)
- Upgraded speakers
- An A11 bionic chip, bringing a faster CPU with four efficiency cores that are up to 70 percent faster than the A10 Fusion
- New camera sensors and color filters on the 8, and two cameras on the 8 Plus to build a depth map on portrait mode and artificially alter lighting
The biggest change to the iPhone would have to be wireless charging! Both the 8 and 8 Plus will support the Qi wireless charging standard also used in IKEA furniture. That means you can charge your iPhone by leaving it on your bedside table or by using the new AirPower mat – no wires required!
The iPhone 8 will start at $699 for the 64GB capacity model, and the 8 Plus will start at $799. Preorder will begin Sept. 15, with in-store sales starting Sept. 22 and iOS 11 to be released on Sept. 19.
The iPhone X
Pronounced “iPhone ten,” the X commemorates 10 years of the iPhone. The X is on another level entirely – it doesn’t even look like a typical iPhone. It has a top-to-bottom screen on the front, save for a small trapezoid space where selfie cameras and sensors appear, and its Super Retina OLED display will render dark colors darker and other colors richer. The X also uses True Tone technology for white-balancing in different conditions.
The all-screen front means that, yes, the home button has disappeared, with its features relegated to the power button (or “side button,” as Apple calls it). You can long-press this button for Siri or double-tap for Apple Pay. To get back to the home screen, simply swipe up from the bottom.
With all that screen, you’re going to need a strong battery – and Apple is indeed reporting that the iPhone X battery life is two hours longer than that of the 7. The X will also adopt the wireless charging capabilities of the 8 and 8 Plus.
As with the 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X dual cameras are both 12 MP, but with a faster telephoto lens that also improves optical image stabilization. The flash is optimized as well, and the front-facing camera now supports a bunch of the twin-camera features (including portrait-mode lighting for awesome selfies!). You’ll also be able to film slow motion footage in higher definition, or in film-like 4K.
The iPhone X’s groundbreaking new feature
One of the most groundbreaking X features is facial ID. A subset of the phone’s chip is dedicated to neural network processing, which means you can unlock your phone with your face. The chance that someone in the general population can beat the facial recognition to unlock your phone is quoted at 1 in 1 million, versus 1 in 50,000 with Touch ID. That said, you’re still able to set a passcode, and Face ID will work with everything that Touch ID does, including Apple Pay. Want to authorize a purchase? Just hold the phone up to your face! Apple assured the public that it has done extensive testing with masks and photos to ensure that Face ID cannot be fooled.
Of course, the facial-recognition features do more than just unlock the phone – they’re there to deliver an enhanced user experience. For example, the phone will know when you are looking at it, and thus will not shut off the screen or play loud alert noises. These features are made possible by cameras and sensors packed into the trapezoid area of the front screen, which utilizes TrueDepth technology to map your face using infrared dots, capture the image and then interpret face data. This means your facial ID will still work even if you wear glasses or grow a mustache!
The iPhone X will start at $999 for the 64GB model. Preorder for the iPhone X will begin Oct. 27, and shipping will start Nov. 3.
In addition to debuting the new iPhones, Apple announced a slew of other product upgrades and offerings. All specs are up on the Apple site.
Are you a diehard Apple fan? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!