Latest posts by Tim Firmager (see all)
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In traditional Apple style, this year’s media launch event upped the ante from the previous year. The event was held in the new Steve Jobs theatre on the new Apple campus. Therefore a lot of comparison was drawn between Steve Job’s Apple and the company now under Tim Cook’s leadership. The products launched this year included a new 4K Apple TV box, Apple Watch 3, iPhone 8 (and a Plus-size model) and iPhone X.
The biggest innovation we witnessed was the Apple Watch series 3, which now crams in full cellular capability. This may seem like an unnecessary upgrade to some, but we at Vada see this as paving the way for all accessories to be completely connected, and therefore negating the need for a smartphone at all. Apple’s iPhone X is definitely futuristic, albeit none of the features within it are entirely new to the smartphone market. This could be a visible sign of a trend away from revolutionary smartphone updates and a glimpse of a future where we’re all connected by 5G watches, glasses and other accessories instead.
Our theories of future trend tech aside, here’s what you need to know about the Apple range of devices for 2017.
The most advanced iPhone to date. It’s pronounces “iPhone ten” (not “iphone X”). Apple boast of an all-glass design – there is no longer a home button, 5.8-inch OLED display, wireless charging and FaceID to enable unlocking of a phone via facial recognition. These latter three features are however not new to Samsung users.
Apple have built a new microprocessor (the A11 Bionic chip) to support this latest functionality. This also enables augmented reality experiences, and a fun way to animate emojis from your own facial expressions (dubbed ‘Animoji’) including a panda, unicorn and poop. There is an improved rear camera with dual optical image stabilisation, and a new ‘portrait lighting’ feature, meaning every selfie will be Instagram worthy. Many even more improved #ThirstyThursday photos coming soon.
What we think makes this valuable is the bringing together of all this capability within the Apple ecosystem and using the new iOS 11 operating system.
iPhone X will be available for pre-order from October 27 and in stores beginning Friday, November 3. It is available in silver or space grey. Memory capacity options mean the 64GB version starts at £999 and the 256GB at £1,149. At these prices we’d rather put up with our existing screen real estate and wait to see discounts (or alternatives) the new year brings.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus variant are the natural Apple evolution from the existing 7 and 7 Plus iPhone models, rather than the iPhone X ‘revolution’.
Much like the iPhone X, the the iPhone 8 is made from a glass front and rear in an aluminium frame that also supports wireless charging. It too features the A11 Bionic chip, so is capable of providing the same augmented reality experience, and driving a retina HD display. The iPhone 8 is packed with more advanced cameras and the same portrait lighting feature as the iPhone X.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus has been on sale since September 22. It is also space grey, silver and a new gold colour. The 64GB version costs £699 and the 256GB priced £849. This is a little more expensive than the iPhone 7 launch price, but for those with a handset in need of a refresh, this is the better value Apple option.
Apple Watch Series 3
In our opinion, the biggest technological revolution announced, Apple Watch Series 3 has cellular connectivity as well as GPS. This means the watch can make calls, receive texts and does not need to be near an iPhone. The watch cleverly shares the same number as your iPhone, by use of an inbuilt eSim (over one-hundredth the size of a traditional SIM card, also meaning no compromise on space).
The Apple Watch Series 3 uses a 70 per cent faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip, which mean smooth graphics and now enables Siri on a watch device.
With the release of watchOS 4, this will allow Apple Music users to stream 40 millions songs from the wrist. There are further health and fitness including more detailed heart rate information for resting, recovery, walking and breathing exercises. GymKit means users will soon enjoy the ability to connect to their cardio equipment and experience two-way synchronisation of data with just a tap, resulting in the most accurate information possible.
New Nike+ bands are available, and the Hermès pair with a striking collection of new bands, including the Single Tour Rallye, in perforated Gala calfskin, inspired by the classic Hermès driving glove, and the Single Tour Eperon d’Or, in printed Gala calfskin, inspired by the equestrian scarf pattern designed by Henri d’Origny in 1974.
Apple Watch Series 3 has been available to purchase since September 22. A GPS model starts at £329 and the GPS + Cellular model starts at £399. This is definitely one we will be trying out.
Apple TV 4K
The new Apple TV 4K is an evolution that includes support for both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR), which means crisper images, richer and more true-to-life colours, and greater detail in both dark and bright scenes. The remote continues to support Siri, with updated ability so you can ask the score of a sports game, or ‘show me movies in 4K’.
The US has already got access to functionality allowing on-screen notification of their favourite sports teams playing, which will be extended to the UK and other countries later this year.
For those who are part of the Apple ecosystem and those who enjoy watching movies, sport or a lot of TV shows, the Apple TV 4K is a justifiable (early) Christmas present.
Prices for Apple TV 4K start at £179 for the 32GB model, or £199 for the 64GB model.