While some folks may mark the beginning of autumn with the sightings of pumpkin spice everything, those in the tech world believe the season begins with Apple’s annual announcement of its new iPhones.
Yesterday was that day with Apple announcing three new iPhones, as well as a new Apple Watch, and software updates for many of its existing products.
The new iPhones replace the iPhone X and have many of its features, while bringing innovations to the screen and camera. The new Apple Watch has groundbreaking health and safety features that will undoubtably save lives.
Apple introduced three new iPhones that will be launched this fall:
- iPhone Xs
- iPhone Xs Max
- iPhone XR
For each model, the X is the Roman numeral 10, not the letter X. Do not mispronounce the phone name:
Apple’s new marketing challenge: Getting people to pronounce the the iPhone Xs as “tennis” not “excess”#AppleEvent
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) September 12, 2018
All of these phones use Face ID and none have a home button (or a headphone jack). They all use gestures similar to the ones used on the iPhone X.
This video from Apple introduces the three new phones:
iPhone Xs and Xs Max
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are the latest and greatest phones from Apple, with larger screens yet smaller bodies, than previous models. They replace the iPhone X from last year which was only available in one screen size, these new models come in two screen sizes.
Interestingly, the major difference between two phones the is the screen size. Unlike in previous years, the cameras are the the same in both the iPhone Xs and the Xs Max.
The iPhone Xs has a screen size of 5.8 inches (14.7 cm) while the Xs Max has a screen size of 6.5 inches (16.5 cm). The Xs Max has the largest screen ever on an iPhone, but with more compact bodies, these phones make the most of their screens.
The OLED screens on these phones stretch from edge to edge and are made from what Apple calls the most durable glass on a smartphone. The display is the best Apple has ever made, according to Apple, and is called Super Retina.
These phones have better protection from liquid and dust than previous models. The phones can be submerged in water up to 2 meters for 30 minutes.
The A12 Bionic chip inside the phones provides faster performance while being more energy-efficient. Apps can launch up to 30% faster on these phones. Apple says that this chip is the “smartest and most powerful chip ever on a smartphone.”
This chip helps the phones perform advanced tasks such as augmented reality for apps and games.
Three app developers demonstrated their apps on the new iPhones at the event. Two gaming apps offered sophisticated graphics, including one that lets players compete against each other with simulated video game consoles. Another app uses augmented reality to analyze a basketball player’s shooting methods and percentages from different areas of the court.
Even with the advancements in performance, the battery life for the phones is longer than for previous models. The iPhone Xs has a battery life 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X and the iPhone Xs Max lasts 90 minutes longer.
The body of the phones is made from surgical grade stainless steel and comes in gold, silver and space gray.
Both phones can use two SIM cards at once, so you can have one phone for two different cell phone accounts. This could come in handy if you travel internationally and use a local SIM card, or if you have two accounts, one for personal use and one for work.
The phone will display which account a call is coming from.
iPhone Xs and Xs Max Cameras
Apple called the iPhone camera the “most popular camera in the world” and has improved the cameras on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max. The rear camera has 12 MP for both wide and telephoto lenses, as well as a more advanced True Tone flash.
With what Apple calls Smart HDR, the new cameras offer zero shutter lag and can combine images to make the perfect photo.
Apple also introduced a new technology that lets you adjust the depth of the photo after you’ve shot it. Two years ago with the iPhone 7, Apple introduced the Bokeh effect on iPhone cameras, allowing you to blur the background while keeping the subject in focus.
With the new iPhones, you’ll be able to adjust the depth of the photo after you take it. In the Photos app on the iPhones Xs or Xs Max, tap Edit for a photo and use the slider to blur the background of a shot.
The front True Depth camera has been improved too. The camera performs one trillion operations in every photo, for improved security with Face ID and for better Memojis (the animated personal emojis Apple introduced last year with the iPhone X).
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max will be available for ordering tomorrow, September 14, with delivery on September 21.
Prices for the new phones:
- $999 64 GB
- $1149 256 GB
- $1349 512 GB
iPhone Xs Max
- $1099 64 GB
- $1249 256 GB
- $1449 512 GB
Apple also introduced a lower priced phone, in the likely event that the prices of the iPhone Xs and Xs Max send you into sticker shock. The iPhone XR has many similarities to the Xs and Xs Max, but at a lower price.
The XR comes in an aluminum body with a glass back. Six colors are available:
- Product Red
Like the Xs and Xs Max, the XR comes with an edge to edge screen and is dust and water-resistant. The 6.1 inch (15.5 cm) LCD screen has a display Apple calls Liquid Retina. The screen is larger than that of an iPhone 8 Plus, but in a smaller body.
Like the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, the iPhone XR also has an A12 Bionic chip. The phone’s battery life runs 90 minutes longer than the iPhone 8 Plus.
iPhone XR Cameras
The cameras on the iPhone XR are similar to those on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, though the rear 12 MP camera has only a single lens. There is no separate telephoto lens for zooming with the XR as there is on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
The True Depth front-facing camera on the XR allows for Face ID and Memojis.
The adjustable Bokeh depth feature for photos on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max is also available on the iPhone XR.
The iPhone XR will be available for ordering on October 19 with delivery on October 26.
Prices for the iPhone XR:
- $749 64 GB
- $799 128 GB
- $899 256 GB
Note that Apple will also be selling older models of their phones at a discount:
- iPhone 7 from $449
- iPhone 8 from $599
Apple Watch Series 4
Apple’s most significant announcement of the day may have been the Apple Watch. With important new health features the Apple Watch Series 4 is a major improvement over previous models.
The display of the Apple Watch Series 4 has been expanded to the edges with a 32% and 35% increase in screen size, depending on the model of the Watch.
The larger screen size is put to good use with new watch faces that show up to eight complications on the screen. More information will be available in complications, such as activity and heart rate graphs, sports scores, stock prices, and more.
You’ll be able to save up to four contacts on the watch face you can call with a tap. Fire, water and vapor watch faces will also be available on the new Watch.
This video from Apple shows you the new design of the Watch Series 4:
The Watch is also thinner, but the battery life remains the same as the Series 3. The speakers are 50% louder and the microphone has been moved to the opposite side of the Watch.
A 64-bit processor means that performance for the Series 4 will be twice as fast as the Series 3.
The Digital Crown feels as if it’s clicking as you spin it, for more control when scrolling.
Health Features of the Apple Watch Series 4
The more advanced accelerometer and gyroscope help the Series 4 Watch detect when the wearer falls, slips or trips. The Watch will then show an alert with an option to call emergency services. If the Watch detects no response within one minute of the alert, it will notify emergency services and the user’s emergency contacts.
The Apple Watch Series 4 also comes with an advanced heart monitor that can alert you to a low heart rate.
Check out => 7 Ways to Monitor Your Heart Rate Using Apple Watch
The Series 4 heart monitor not only detects heart rate but can also measure heart rhythms. The Watch can show an alert when it detects an abnormal heart rhythm, known as Arterial Fibrillation or AFib.
The Watch can also be used as an electrocardiogram or ECG to measure heart rate and rhythm. Within 30 seconds the Watch can give you a reading and create a document to send to your doctor.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has given its approval for use of the Watch Series 4 as an ECG, according to Apple. The company is awaiting approval in other countries for this feature.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available for pre-order September 14 with delivery on September 21. The Watch comes in these models:
- Aluminum in gold, space gray and silver
- Stainless steel in gold, space black and silver
Prices begin at $399 for the 40 mm size and $429 for the 44 mm size and go up to $1499 for the most expensive Hermés model.
The Watch OS 5 update for existing Apple Watches will be available on September 17.
iOS 12, the update to the software for iPhone and iPad, will bring new features to existing devices, such as 32-person FaceTime video calls, Screen Time, Measure AR app and more. iOS 12 will be released on September 17.
=> Learn more about iOS 12 at Apple Announces Major New Software Updates at WWDC 2018.
HomePod will receive an update that will allow for multi-room music, making and receiving phone calls, Find My iPhone, and search by lyrics.
MacOS Mojave, the update to software for Mac computers, will be available on September 24.
Apple TV OS will bring Dolby Atmos sound to Apple TV 4K and will be available on September 17.
Are you excited by the announcements from Apple? Which new features are you excited to see? Will you be getting a new iPhone or Apple Watch?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!