Around the same time each year, Apple holds an event to announce the launch of its latest range of products. Apple returned this year focusing on the new iPhone, Apple Watch and their brand new earphones, AirPods.
Before we cover these, Apple provided some impressive statistics and info on some other services:
Apple Music launched just over a year ago and now has over 17 million subscribers. The service has received an overhaul in iOS 10, with a new playlist generator and lyric integration.
The App Store launched in 2008, eight years ago! The platform has grown from strength to strength and continues to impress. Over 140 billion apps have been downloaded which generated twice the income of it’s closest competitor, Google.
Apple also announced that there were over 500,000 games in the App Store, however, everyone seemed very excited about one in particular…
Mario on iOS!
That’s right, Mario’s first outing on any smartphone is coming this winter. Super Mario Run will be an auto-runner, playable with one hand and for a fixed price.
Apple has begun an education initiative known as ConnectED, which aims to provide 50,000 iPads to students and 4,500 Macs to teachers.
The iWork suite (Pages, Notes, and Keynote) now offer live collaboration and public or private documents.
From here, Apple continued with statistics about it’s Apple Watch revealing that it is the second highest selling watch after Rolex. After demonstrating new features previously mentioned in Apple’s last keynote, they revealed the Apple Watch Series 2.
Apple Watch Series 2
The latest version of the Apple Watch is a great improvement on its predecessor, now waterproof up to 50m. The new watch even offers workouts for swimmers with lap counting, distance and tracking calories burned. Apple also included a high sought after feature into the edition, built-in GPS, so there’s no need to carry your phone when out for a run.
As for new styles, Apple is releasing a white pearlescent version which is completely ceramic. Their style partner Hermes are also creating a number of new straps.
Nike have also stepped up and collaborated with Apple to bring a new running app and band to the Apple Watch, which we can also expect to see later on this year, just after the release of the Series 2 and watchOS 3.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
The star of the show was undoubtedly the unveiling of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. As the iPhone rose out of the water, it was clear Apple’s latest edition was water resistant, something I’m sure we’ve all wanted for a long time.
The new iPhones are water resistant using the IP67 standard, something very similar used on the original Apple Watch. Whilst not completely waterproof, it could be enough to save your phone after an unfortunate accident. In order to achieve this, Apple had to remove the traditional Home button, and replace it with a completely flush one, which provides Haptic feedback, similar to the touchpads on the latest MacBooks.
There we’re a couple of notable losses; no 16GB version (not necessarily a bad thing as the entry level is now 32GB) and the removable of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple will however, provide a Lightning to 3.5mm converter with the device, which all existing headphones can use.
The new iPhone also sports two new colors: Black and Jet Black, and two different shades of gray. The Space Gray edition is no longer available, however Apple has kept the Gold and Rose Gold editions.
Both phones received camera updates, with the 7 increased up to 12MP. The 7 Plus has a dual camera system with optical zoom, giving photos a great depth of field. The 7 Plus also has improved color accuracy when using the LED flash. The front-facing camera also received an upgrade from 5MP to 7MP with improved image stabilization.
Finally and as expected, much of the hardware was improved throughout both phones, resulting in faster performance and increased battery life.
As one last surprise, Apple revealed a new product called AirPods. The redesign of the headphones operate over Bluetooth and are perfect for the new iPhone 7/Plus, although they can also be used with any Bluetooth audio player. The AirPods are rechargeable via their case for 24 hours, and the case may be charged via the Lightning port on the phone.
While Apple’s events are becoming more predictable, they still manage to surprise and excite every time. We’re super excited to play with these new devices when they launch later on this year.