Apple's iPhone fans may receive three surprises at once this year as reports suggest that…
Apple didn’t just introduce its next generation of iPhones, but also launched Airpods — wireless earphones — and the Apple Watch Series 2.
Starting at a price of Rs 60,000 (for 32 GB internal storage), the iPhone 7 will be available in India from October 7 with the better battery life, stereo speakers and processing speeds.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
Apple’s new iPhone is getting a faster processor, an updated home button and water and dust protection. Apple says the iPhone 7’s home button is now force sensitive. It will provide “haptic” feedback — that “pushing back” feeling — when you press it, but the button itself doesn’t move. It’s similar to what Apple has done with a trackpad in a slimmer MacBook model last year. The iPhone 7 will have stereo speakers for the first time, with twice the volume of iPhone 6S speakers. The phone’s battery life is improved, too; Apple estimates that the new iPhones will have one or two hours of additional battery life over last year’s models.
The iPhone 7 will be available in a new glossy black body that is water and dust resistant.
Both the iPhones come equipped with a new flash with four LEDs rather than two for greater brightness. As with previous models, the flash will adjust its colour to match ambient light. High-end photographers can get images in RAW format, which allows for more versatile editing, matching what many leading cameras now have.
It also comes with Optical Image Stabilisation for less blurry pictures.
The iPhone 7 Plus will have two lenses to boost the zoom capabilities of the camera. The camera can now zoom in twice as much without losing sharpness. Both cameras take 12 megapixel photos. The two lenses will also sense depth and allow users to blur backgrounds in images, mimicking an effect that typically requires changing the lens aperture in stand-alone cameras.
The bigger announcement though was the (expected) demise of the 3.5 mm jack — the circular slot through which one plugs in their earphones. Instead, Lightning EarPods were introduced — wireless head phones that snugly sit in your ears without the tangle of wires. For those wishing to stick to the old school tech, Apple threw in a convertor that connects the normal earphones to the lightening port.
The AirPods will seamlessly communicate with all Apple devices including the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, Macbook and others. The AirPods also let you summon Siri by tapping on them. Packaged in a charging case, the innovation is priced at Rs 5,400, and will ship in late October.
Read | Goodbye, headphone jack. Apple’s move to usher in voice-driven world
Storage has been doubled, so Apple joins rival phone makers in making the starter model 32 gigabytes, rather than 16 gigabytes before. Apple is doubling storage in higher-priced models, too, to 128 and 256 gigabytes.
Older iPhones will get price reductions, and last year’s models are also getting double the storage.
Apple introduced a “swim-proof” watch, the Apple Watch Series 2. With more fitness and health capabilities, it can survive up to 50 metres under water. It also has a built-in GPS that helps users track their workout progress without an iPhone. Besides the big updates, the display has been made brighter and a dual-core processor has been added to make it run faster.
The price of Watch Series one has been slashed to Rs 23,900, while the new Series 2 will retail for Rs 32,900 and range up to Rs 1,10,900 for the ceramic version. Apple also introduced a Nike+ version of the Watch at Rs 32,900 that focuses on runners. It comes in four colours.
Read | Apple launches new Watch series at Rs 32,900, updates first watch
Existing watches can get new operating software on September 13. In addition, there’s a new Apple Watch Nike Plus, a Nike-branded Apple Watch in four colors that’s designed for runners.
Battery life, which has been a weak spot of the watch, was not mentioned.
Apple is phasing out smartwatch models made with 18-karat gold. The Series 2 watches will use ceramic instead of gold for the luxury “Edition” version.
Upgraded operating systems
Besides new hardware announcements, Apple also announced the launch of the iOS 10 for iPhone users and the Watch OS 3.0 release is slotted for this month.
The latest software update, available on Tuesday, will add more intelligence to Apple services like Maps, Photos, the iPhone keyboard and Siri, the voice-activated digital assistant. There’s a new Home app to control appliances. In a big change for Apple, the company is also opening Siri and its iMessage service to work with apps created by independent developers.
Apple is also allowing developers to build apps for iMessage, although the options so far appear to mostly involve sending payments or ordering food. It’s also adding bigger emoji and other visual effects for iMessage, including what it calls “Invisible Ink,” which blurs an image in a message until a recipient swipes a finger across the screen. Apple announced many of the features in June.