Apple knows how to put on a good show— and orchestrate a media circus around it. You, like us, have probably been waiting for the Apple media event in San Francisco even if you care so little about Apple that you think a lightning connector is a kind of lightning rod. You can admit it even if you are an Android lover or if you just love to hate Apple (despite shrinking sales, the iPhone is still the best-selling smartphone in the world). Apart from rolling out the expected new generation of products, CEO Tim Cook is hoping these clever — and perhaps brave— introductions are set to jumpstart growth at the tech company. Here are five key things to note from the announcement, although really we are mainly interested in the Apple Watch, which is why that part has the most meat in this tale…
The event saw Apple introduce two new upgraded versions of the flagship smartphone — but still at the same price. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which will be slightly larger, pretty much look the same as the iPhone 6 and 6S Plus. With a powerful processor called the A10 Fusion chip, improved camera technology and even water resistance, it is all set to lord it over other new models in the industry. Seriously, that A10 chip is a big deal, bringing more power to the table, without consuming more power, and calling attention once more to Apple’s proficiency with processors. For the selfie lovers, the new dual cameras will allow for pictures with better quality. The most controversial move, however, is the removal of the headphone jack. There is nothing in its place; the proprietary Apple “lightning” connector will function as a headphone jack, with the help of an adaptor. Apple however isn’t encouraging the use of the lightning connector for this purpose. Instead, Cook, Ive and co are inviting you to cut the cord…
Cutting the Cord
Forgoing the plug-in headsets that usually end up entangled, Apple has introduced a new pair of wireless headphones. Using a new wireless communication chip called the W1, the new AirPods (we recall the days Apple made another product called the AirPod but we digress) can detect if a user is listening to music or not, staying ready for action in standby mode. The AirPods connect automatically to all devices linked to a user’s iCloud account. As you can see, the AirPods are tiny so you can expect to lose them frequently. Then again, Apple has never made the best headphones for its own products so this is merely par for the course.
Super Mario on iPhone
In collaboration with Nintendo, Apple announced the launch of “Super Mario Run” that was designed for mobile. The iconic game featuring everyone’s favorite plumber will be available on the App Store this year. Alongside SuperMario, Apple announced that users of the Apple Watch will be able to enjoy the popular game Pokémon Go later this month.
Apple Watch Series 2
Speaking of the Apple Watch, the brand will be introducing the upgraded Apple Watch, which boasts a water resistance of up to 50 meters. Fitness junkies will welcome the GPS that allows users to track their workouts without having to bring along a smartphone. Just so you know though, your watch needs to be water resistant to at least 100 meters before you can safely swim with it. Apple will also be introducing new designs in collaboration with Nike that will be targeted at runners. For those favoring something more fashionable, Apple is also working on new styles for its Hermes edition and here is where things get interesting because observers are not buying it. For the record, neither are we.
The Verge — and others — have noticed Apple’s nod in the direction of utility, meaning its dream of conquering the Swiss fine watchmaking business might be over, or at least on hold. Basically, there is only one watch brand that is truly for everyone, middle class and up: Rolex. The Apple watch was meant to be all things to all people, whatever their station, and that was probably foolish — at least for now. Even mighty Rolex did not arrive as the King of Watches overnight, though it was born with a crown. Well, Apple will have to content itself with being the world’s most valuable brand and largest publicly traded corporation (by market capitalization).
iOS 10 Release
The new mobile operating system is aimed at working with the new hardware, on September 13, including upgrades to its maps and news applications. A test version of the software, which helps accelerate Apple’s efforts in home automation, was released earlier this year.