The big announcement from Apple happened and those of us who are Apple fans probably geeked out more than a few times. Ok. Maybe a lot of times.
Here are some of the highlights and a few of my own thoughts from Apple’s big announcement.
1. Super Mario Run
I must admit, being a product of the 80’s & 90’s I was probably more excited than necessary when they announced that Super Mario was coming to the App store. A beloved classic that has dominated Nintendo for the last 20 years is soon to be available for Apple fans. The app will have a set fee so there will be no in-app purchases. Super Mario Run is set to release in time for the Holidays.
iWork provides suite productivity tools for education and business. Teachers and students can create stunning documents and spreadsheets. They announced real-time collaboration via Pages, Keynote and Numbers on all iPhone, iPad, Mac and web. Multiple people can now work together in real-time on projects to produce stunning documents and presentations.
3. Apple Watch
After the launch in 2015 Apple Watch became the number two watch brand in the world, just behind Rolex. They have become the top selling smartwatch. I received one for Christmas last year and have loved it and the functionality of the watch.
So what’s new with the Apple Watch?
- The Watch gets completely a completely redesigned OS. WatchOS3 includes new faces, with an easier way to change the design. iMessages and Text message changes that includes the addition of animated stickers, and even full screen effects with the ability to write a message using scribble.
- Developers have added activity sharing with friends and family, the app Breathe which reminds users to take deep breaths daily, and a new safety app feature provides the ability to call 911 when necessary, and also alerts the users contacts that an emergency .
- One of the biggest App announcements came from the Niantic the creators of Pokemon Go. They announced that Pokemon Go will be coming to the Apple Watch. The Pokemon Go app will work with the activity tracker on the Apple Watch to hatch eggs and alert users when a Pokemon is nearby. The app will be out before the end of 2016.
- Next Generation of Apple Watch is called Series 2.
- Series 2 is Water Resistant up to 50 Meters, which means when doing those laps in the pool or open water swimming, your activity can now be tracked. Swim proof. Water resistant 50 meters.
- The Screen display is 1000 nits – makes the screen brighter and able to be scene. What is a nit you maybe asking? According to whatis.com, “In lighting, the nit is a unit of visible-light intensity, commonly used to specify the brightness of a cathode ray tube or liquid crystal display computer display. One nit is equivalent to one candela per square meter.” So basically one nit equals one candle, therefore 1000 nits is the brightness of 1000 candles. That’s pretty bright.
- Apple Watch Series 2 has a built-in GPS, which means when walking or running the watch no longer needs the GPS of the phone to track activity.
- Series 2 has a dual core processor which means it will be faster than the previous version.
- Apple has partnered with Nike to develop the Apple Watch Nike+. This is a new apple watch designed specifically for runners with a lighter watch, more breathable wristband and easier way of getting directly to activity tracking.
- Both Apple Watch Series 2 and the Apple Watch Nike+ are priced at $369
- Apple Watch Series 1 with an updated OS will come in at $269
Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Nike+ available by October 2016.
4. iPhone 7
The iPhone is the best selling product of its kind in the history of the world with over 1 Billion iPhones sold worldwide. The new iPhone 7 does not disappoint, despite one major change that sent the internet ablaze upon announcement.
So what is new with the iPhone?
- The iPhone 7 comes with a redesigned iOS 10 which officially releases September 13th. In iOS 10 Maps have been redesigned, which if you are an existing Apple user is a positive note. Hopefully the updated Maps will not get individuals lost or traveling down roadways that aren’t really roadways. There is also some new effects to iMessage that has updated stickers, full screen graphics, the option to “emojify” words in text. Apple Music gets a cleaner and more simplistic makeover, Siri is expanded to a wider range of third-party apps.
- New Design:
- Outer design is a water and dust resistant enclosure, with a seamless surface and a new jet black high-gloss finish. So you can take a short breath of fresh air the next time you drop your shiny new phone into the water. Keeping that bowl of rice on hand might still be a good idea though.
- Interior design is faster with the new generation chip – A10 Fusion and a four-core cpu 64 bit.
- The Home Button is more responsive and more customizable.
- Listening will be better without headphones. New design gives us stereo speakers – meaning speakers are at the top and bottom of the iPhone. The new speakers put out twice the volume and have an increased dynamic range as in previous models.
- Looking at videos and pictures will be better with the new Retina HD Display. This is the best display on any smartphone currently available. The new display is 25% brighter, has a wider color gamut, is cinema standard, color management, and 3d touch.
- The Camera is probably one of the biggest changes and Apple focuses in on Photographers with the new camera features. There is not a need to get rid of your DSLR camera, but the iPhone 7 Plus will give a few older models a run for their money. Check out the changes from forbes.com article, “iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: What’s the Difference?”
- iPhone 7: Rear: 12 megapixel sensor, f/1.8 aperture, Focus Pixels, Optical Image Stabilisation, quad-LED (dual tone) flash, 4K video recording. Front: 7MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p recording.
- iPhone 7 Plus: Rear: Dual 12MP sensors (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.8, 56mm), Focus Pixels, OIS, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED (dual tone) flash, 4K video recording. Front: 7MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p recording.
- EarPods – this is where all of the tech world stood still for a moment. Apple, as rumored, removed the 3.5mm headphone jack. A connection that has existed for the last 150 years, Apple removed from their newest product, because they had the courage to do so. Apple continues to innovate and this move from 3.5mm headphone jack to the EarPods connecting through a lightening cord is indeed innovative. As we all know, innovation does not always come easily nor without scrutiny. From the moment the announcement was made the internet went ablaze with those for or against the move. Regardless, Apple took a step no other company has yet to do with a product of this magnitude. The EarPods are included in the box, along with the lightning connector. For those who are going old school, included in the box is a 3.5mm adaptor for those vintage headphones we all have.
- Wireless Apple AirPods. If you no longer want the hassle of the cord from phone to EarPods Apple has you covered with their new Apple AirPods. These come with a built-in microphone and are touch sensitive with Siri. They come in a box and when opened near the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus they connect via Apple’s W1 chip. This means there will be no hassle trying to connect them via Bluetooth technology. When removed from the ears all audio stops, thus saving battery life. Speaking of battery life, AirPods will last a maximum of 5 hours on one charge, which is not bad for a wireless device. Now unlike the EarPods, these do not come with the purchase of a new iPhone 7 or 7 plus, they will cost you $159 to not have the hassle of those pesky cords. The price may seem high, but it is comparable to other wireless listening devices.
- iPhone 7: $649 available in 32GB 128GB, 250GB
- iPhone 7 Plus: $769 available in 32GB, 128GB, 250GB
The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus comes out: September 9, shipping September 16th.
I admit I am beyond excited for both the Apple Watch Series 2 and the iPhone 7 (even sans 3.5mm headphone jack). I think Apple continues to improve the quality of their product and has made especially the Apple Watch more user friendly with the water resistant feature and built-in GPS. I’m sold. Are you?
In case you missed the announcement or need some more convincing on the newest products to hit Apple’s line check this out – Don’t Blink.
[Video via YouTube]