Apple paid homage to its late co-founder Steve Jobs for the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone on Tuesday when it unveiled the iPhone X at $999. Here are five takeaways from the launch event:
Apple rolled out on Tuesday its much-anticipated iPhone X, a redesigned product of glass and stainless steel with an edge-to-edge display that Apple CEO Tim Cook called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
Apart from the iPhone X, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It also introduced an updated smartwatch and an upgraded streaming video system for 4K high-definition television.
1) iPhone X is here, at $999
The iPhone X features wireless charging, an infrared camera and special hardware for facial recognition, which will replace the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The home button found on previous iPhones is also gone, and users will instead tap the device to wake it up.
The phone starts will cost $999 in the US for the 64GB variant and will ship on November 3. The iPhone X costs twice what the original iPhone did. It sets a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
The screen on the iPhone X is about the size of the current iPhone 7 plus, though the phone itself is smaller. It features richer colours thanks to a new technology called OLED that other vendors such as Samsung are also rolling out.
2) iPhone 8 and 8 Plus out of the bag, too
Apple also introduced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, which resemble the iPhone 7 line but have a glass back for wireless charging.
The new phones feature Apple’s first proprietary graphics processor, which provides greater speed, improved cameras and some features for augmented reality apps.
The cheapest phones have 64GB of memory, up from 32GB in previous models, and will sell for $699 and $799. These phones will ship from September 29.
The phones, Apple said, will shoot pictures with better colours and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
3) Watch Series 3 has built-in cellular
The company also introduced an upgraded Apple Watch, which can make phone calls and access the internet without the user carrying an iPhone.
The number on your phone will be the same as your iPhone. The Series 3 model will also have Apple Music available through cellular service. “Now, you can go for a run with just your watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer and in charge of Watch development.
Apple is also adding more fitness features to the Watch, and says it is now the most used heartrate monitor in the world. Now, Apple Watch will notify users when it detects an elevated heart rate when they don’t appear to be active. It’ll also detect abnormal heart rhythms.
The Series 3 will start at $399. One without cellular goes for $329, down from $369 for the comparable model now. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $249, down from $269. The new watch comes out September 22.
Apple did not provide sales figures for its watches, but Cook said sales had risen 50% from the year before and that the Apple Watch was now the best-selling watch in the world.
4) Apple TV gets an upgrade
A new version of the Apple TV streaming device will be able to show video with sharper “4K” resolution and a color-improvement technology called high-dynamic range, or HDR.
Many rival devices already offer these features. But there’s not a lot of video in 4K and HDR yet, nor are there many TVs that can display it. Apple TV doesn’t have its own display and needs to be connected to a TV.
Apple said it’s been working with movie studios to bring titles with 4K and HDR to its iTunes store. They will be sold at the same prices as high-definition video, which tends to be a few dollars more than standard-definition versions. Apple said it’s working with Netflix and Amazon Prime to bring their 4K originals to Apple TV, too.
The new Apple TV device will cost $179 and ships on Sept. 22. A version without 4K will cost less.
5) Apple introduces its flashy new campus
Cook opened the event at the Steve Jobs Auditorium on Apple’s new campus with a tribute to the company’s co-founder and former CEO Jobs, who died in 2011.
“Not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him,” Cook said. “Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event. It’s taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness.”
The Apple building itself was considered to be Jobs’ final product, and Cook spent a few minutes boasting about the design, energy-saving features and public spaces at the new campus, including a flagship Apple Store.
The theatre, never before open to the public, features an expansive glass-enclosed lobby, with two massive white stone staircases leading down to the auditorium. Inside, the decor is similar to that of Apple’s stores, with hard maple flooring and tan leather seats.
Options in other apps are more generalized. I could use the dial to adjust volume on my computer, or skip tracks in iTunes, but it lacked the same utility as the curated Logitech integrations. That said, the ability to use the dial to scroll between tabs in Chrome almost justifies the entire keyboard’s existence.
Of course, none of that would matter if the Craft wasn’t also a capable keyboard on its own, but fortunately, it stands out as one of the better non-gaming keyboards I’ve ever used. Each of the chiclet-style keys has an indented center that just naturally guides your finger to the keys, and the switches have just enough resistance to make each key press feel substantial. The keys are backlit, which isn’t the most important thing on a desktop keyboard, but Logitech has added some clever tech that causes them to automatically light up when you put your hands near the keys. My one major complaint is the space bar, which for some reason just feels mushier than the rest of the keys, but it’s a minor quibble on what’s otherwise an excellent keyboard.