Apple Announces Latest iPhones
Ken: Months of anticipation were met with high expectations and a crush of cameras. Apple held a dual unveiling, showing off its latest iPhone with a product launch at its new so-called Spaceship Headquarters in Cupertino. The iPhone 10 offers wireless charging, Face I.D. recognition to unlock the device, and an upgraded camera that can take portrait-like pictures. Now for the sticker shock. The 10’s price tag is about $1000.
Carolina Milanesi: Think about how much you do with this devices today. It’s always with you, that’s the first thing. It’s highly mobile, you take pictures, you listen to music, you do social media, you check your emails.
Interviewer 1: You talk on it?
Carolina Milanesi: Sometimes you talk on it, as well.
Ken: It is a phone after all. Experts say most people use a monthly installment plan to pay the four-figure purchase price for the new iPhone 10. Apple also unveiled the next series of watches and upgrades to its T.V. streaming service. The iPhone 10 goes on sale in November.
Heather: Yeah, it’s such a highly anticipated debut today. So for more on that big event, I’m joined by our tech expert, Ryan Eldridge of Nerds on Call. Okay, your first impression. Does this new iPhone hit the mark?
Ryan Eldridge: I am such a huge Apple fan, so when Tim Cook took the stage it was nirvana for me. It was the best. But really, the iPhone is just kind of catching up to Samsung. Samsung is the number one manufacturer of phones in the world, and Apple has now fallen to third place behind China, just two weeks ago. So they’re kind of catching up. And Tim Cook, we were talking before.Tim Cook, he’s a logistics guy and so he’s been doing these small incremental upgrades for the last few years, and this is the first time that they’ve actually kind of like, “All right, we’re gonna go all the way.” So Face I.D.’s pretty exciting.
Ryan Eldridge: The A.R. was really exciting. They only talked about it a little bit, but…
Heather: And talk to people about that because, honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with it, but when you and I were talking, I sort of… It is a cool feature.
Ryan Eldridge: Well, if you think about how we interact with technology, it’s so old with the typing, and voice recognition isn’t quite there, and Google Glass has tried so hard to give us some sort of interface. Well, this the where everybody’s going. Everybody talks about virtual reality, but it’s really augmented reality. Imagine being able to drive your car and get GPS directions directly on, say, a contact lens or some sort of glass wear you’re using, or your Apple Watch. Something like that, or being able to be at a baseball game and being able to see stats of the other players. Augmented reality is gonna be the next big thing and Apple has pretty much taken their phone towards that direction. Forbes is saying that they are going to be the leaders. They’re beating Facebook, they’re beating Google, they’re beating everybody just because of this conference here.
Heather: Also, a big feature is this facial recognition.
Ryan Eldridge: Yes, Face I.D, which it’s kind of fun, it’s kind of a cool little feature. And I like the little face emoji so, you know, I can talk to my wife as a panda or something like that. That’s kind of fun. But unfortunately, I hope there’s some sort of backup system. As you were talking, if your daughter wants to unlock your phone to maybe check your texts or something while you’re doing something, there’s gotta be a backup somewhere. And they didn’t really talk too much about that, but there’s a little power button on the side where you can get Siri to talk to you. So, I’m hoping there’s some sort of other thing. I know you can tap the phone to wake it up, so maybe tapping or gestures will allow you to unlock it.
Heather: You know, it definitely is intriguing. It’s fancy and as Ken mentioned, it is pricey.
Ryan Eldridge: Yeah, a thousand bucks. Spo the Note 8 broke this barrier just a few weeks ago with $950, starting at $950 for the Note 8 from Samsung. So it’s not terrible, $999, and it’s not that far away from the iPhone Plus. You know, it’s at $799. But if you wanna get the one you are all gonna want, the 256 gigabytes, it’s $1100. That’s pretty pricey, but there’s probably gonna be a short supply when it first releases, when you can pre-order on the 27th. Sites are gonna go down like crazy, and all the coolest kids on the block are gonna have it. And so everybody is gonna want it and likely, there’s gonna be huge supply issues. So if you’re gonna want it, you’re gonna have to get it quick. Otherwise, you’re gonna have to wait until mid next year.
Heather: It doesn’t sound like, though, you anticipate anyone not getting the phone because of the price. You don’t think that the price will be a deterrent.
Ryan Eldridge: I think that the people who use their phone as a utility, they’ll get the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus. But somebody who wants to use their phone, like iPhone is still kind of a status symbol. And so people like me, and I know you’re probably gonna get it, and a lot of other people are gonna get it because it’s just the cool device to have.
Heather: Yeah. What about wireless charging?
Ryan Eldridge: Yeah, so wireless charging, here is kind of an interesting thing. Well, I was thinking, “What about my case? I don’t wanna drop my phone and get it all messed up.” So only certain cases are gonna work, and it’s a chi standard, so an open standard. So you’re gonna be able to buy other accessories besides what’s just available by Apple. So they have their little power pad. They talked about it at the event. So there’s other manufacturers like Belkin and Movina, others that are gonna have it, but make sure that the case is certified for that. And wireless charging is slower than charging it through cable. It can only take a certain amount of amperage, so be careful. You’re probably gonna want to use this at night when you’re going to bed, not really for the average day.
Heather: I do like the convenience factor, though, of it.
Ryan Eldridge: Yes. Well, think about it. If you wanna check your phone for texts in the middle of the night, it instantly stops charging as soon as you pick up, whereas if you had a cable, it’s still charging.
Heather: Ah, I didn’t think about that. Yeah.
Ryan Eldridge: So, you’re probably still gonna do a little bit of both. But it’s still pretty cool.
Heather: All right. It is amazing how Apple can just generate all of this publicity. Don’t you wish every company out there is probably thinking, “How do we do that, right?” All right. Hey, and thanks, Ryan. It was fun to have you on. Appreciate it.
Ryan Eldridge: You’re welcome.
Ever since news of the latest generation of iPhones began to surface, Apple fans have been anxiously awaiting Apple’s official unveiling.
Well, that day finally arrived on September 12th.
Apple held their “Apple Special Event” (no joke – they actually called it that) at the shiny new Steve Jobs theater.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage and extolled the virtues of Apple’s newest devices.
Rumors and leaks had been circulating in the weeks leading up to the event with details about the latest iPhones, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Many of the leaks turned out to be true, making for a somewhat less exciting reveal.
By far, iPhones took center stage with three new devices announced.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be successors of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, whereas the iPhone X (pronounced as iPhone TEN) is a special 10th anniversary version.
Here’s a quick look at the pricing:
- iPhone 8 – $699 (64GB)
- iPhone 8 Plus – $ 799 (64GB)
- iPhone X – $999 (64GB)
This time around, Apple has made some hardware upgrades.
Do these phones live up to the hype?
Here’s the latest:
Wireless Inductive Charging
The latest iPhones do away with lightning cables.
The new glass back design paves the way for the Qi wireless charging standard. Just place your phone on any Qi-compatible pad and it’ll start charging.
Qi open wireless has already been adopted by many car manufacturers (Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc.), restaurants, and hotels.
This means you’ll be able to walk into a McDonald’s or Marriott and simply place your iPhone 8 or iPhone X on one of the available shared charging pads to get powered up.
Apple has plans to release its own charging pad in 2018 (AirPower), but Qi-certified charging pads from Belkin, iHome, and Mophie should all be compatible.
As always, the camera received a lot of attention.
Apple promised the new iPhones will “help you take better pictures than ever before.” Packed with 12 megapixels and upgrades to both color and depth processing, they may just be right.
Portrait mode is also enhanced with new features that let you adjust lighting as you take photos, improved facial lighting, and blackout background effects.
Water and Dust Resistant
While not fully waterproof, the latest iPhones are “microscopically sealed” against dust and moisture.
In other words, a spilled glass of water on your phone is no cause for concern.
Taking it into the ocean while at the beach…probably not a good idea.
iPhone X: No More Home Button (Or TouchID)
The hotly anticipated “anniversary edition” iPhone X comes with a radical form factor change.
The phone has an edge-to-edge glass front and back meaning that the “home” button which has become second nature has gone the way of the headphone jack.
In its place comes a new series of swipes and gestures.
You’ll have to change your habits to carry out useful functions like switching between apps, accessing the control panel, and returning to the home screen.
Here are a few of the new iPhone X control gestures:
- Swipe up from the bottom to access the home screen
- Swipe up and ‘hold’ to multitask (app switching)
- Swipe down for the control center
iPhone X: Face ID To Unlock
If you can’t wait to be an early adopter of futuristic tech, you’ll love the new iPhone X.
The new iPhone comes with integrated 3D facial recognition.
You no longer need a passcode or fingerprint scan to unlock your device. Just look at your phone and its 3D facial recognition software will do the rest.
Once the phone learns your face, it will always unlock despite changes in hairstyle, eyewear, facial hair, and aging.
You can’t trick it with masks or 2D photos, and the likelihood of a stranger unlocking your phone (with their face) is 1 in 1,000,000.
Yet, there are still some concerns.
What if you have a twin?
What if your kid/frenemy/fill-in-the-blank with someone you don’t want getting in your phone picks up your phone and points it at you?
Also, since 3D facial recognition is linked with Apply Pay for authorization, someone can just point a phone at its owner to authorize a payment.
iPhone X: Longer Battery
Apple promises that the iPhone X battery will last 2 hours longer than iPhone 7’s.
Should you get one?
Overall, it seems pretty crazy to drop $1000 on a phone that can be easily damaged or destroyed by dropping it just once.
To be fair though, the price point is comparable to Samsung’s Note 8 which starts at $950.
Most users will likely pay less by utilizing wireless carrier discounts and installment plans.
For example, T-Mobile has introduced a $300 trade-in deal (when you trade an iPhone 6 or later toward the purchase of an iPhone 8 or iPhone X).
When Can You Get The New iPhones?
Besides the iPhone X, everything is available for pre-order starting September 15th.
Shipping will begin the following week on September 22nd.
For the iPhone X, you’ll have to wait until October 27th to pre-order with shipping expected around November 3rd.
Apple Watch Series 3
The new iPhones weren’t the only new devices announced.
Apple Watch Series 3 finally offers integrated LTE. Yay! You can leave your phone at home and still enjoy basic functions, such as:
- Make and receive calls
- Use Siri voice assistant
- Stream music to Apple compatible Bluetooth headphones
The watch is also swim-proof so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to take it off.
The 5th generation Apple TV now offers 4K support.
Head over to the iTunes and you can buy movies at 4K and HDR quality.
There will be no price difference between standard and 4K except for Disney movies which have yet to reach a pricing agreement with Apple.
If you already have a library of movies purchased through iTunes, the 4K versions will be available to you at no additional charge.
Are The New iPhones Worth It?
Is the new iPhone the “best phone ever” or “future of smartphones?”
These features just bring iPhone in line with specs of the existing Samsung line of Androids.
Even some iPhone devotees that are attached to their home button and prefer the simplicity of an AUX headphone jack may opt to stick with the iPhone 6S.
Either way, analysts predict the iPhone will become the world’s first trillion-dollar smartphone by the end of 2018.
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