It’s been another bumper crop of announcements at the 2017 Apple Event. This year, the shiny new Steve Jobs Theater within the new Apple Park in Cupertino became the venue for what is now Apple’s traditional annual iPhone extravaganza.
Unveilings included an expansion of their smartphone lineup with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and updates to Apple Watch and Apple TV. A breathless morning/evening of unveilings then – here are the highlights…
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
If you’re a huge fan of the current iPhone design and home button thank-you-very-much, you’ll be pleased to hear that Apple have launched a new tier of smartphone. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus keep a similar form factor to the previous iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but brings an all new glass casing which allows wireless charging, as well as an improved display, while adding increased water and dust resistance. A new A11 Bionic chip mean it’s faster than its predecessor, and sports Bluetooth 5.0, which gives up to 2x the speed of Bluetooth 4.2 and up to 4x the range of Bluetooth 4.2.
Whatever new features are announced in an iOS update, talk invariably turns to what new emoji are available, so let’s start there. iOS 11 comes with a new type of 3D animated emoji called Animoji, which can be created from face scans to reflect facial expressions in a whole host of animated characters including a monkey, robot, cat, dog, unicorn, smiley poo (we think this one’s going to get a lot of use) and others.
iOS 11 also integrates more advanced systems for iPhone’s camera, including augmented reality and the ability to combine images from multiple cameras. A new version of Apple’s Portrait mode with advanced lighting simulation also creates DSLR-like effects such as bokeh or shallow depth of focus.
Apple Watch Series 3
If you’ve been holding out on getting an Apple Watch, now’s the time to upgrade your wristwear. The new version of Apple’s smartwatch includes 4G connectivity so you don’t have to be paired with your iPhone to get those deathly important email updates and calls while out on your evening run. The Apple Watch Series 3 has a 70% faster processor than the previous version, 50% more power-efficient, and comes with a new barometric altimeter that assists with tracking activity, flights climbed and outdoor workouts, including elevation gain. There’s also a Series 3 version without the 4G connectivity.
Apple TV 4K
With 4K getting more widespread than ever, it was only a matter of time before Apple TV got onboard. The new version of their streaming box is capable of streaming 4K content, so you can appreciate films, TV and games in beautifully high resolution. It also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and HEVC Dolby Vision for superior colour, improved hardware with the Siri Remote, HDMI 2.0 for 4K support and Gigabit Ethernet, and faster performance and graphics due to dramatically faster A10X Fusion processor. You also get improved Bluetooth 5.0, plus the ability to pair two devices to Apple TV, and support for Apple AirPlay 2 for multiple speakers in multi-room locations.