September 8, 2016
During yesterday’s Apple event in San Francisco, the company unveiled its next-gen iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. New features include the A10 Fusion SoC, IP67 water resistance, a home button upgraded with force touch tech, 25 percent brighter display panels, 12MP camera with new options, and support for wide color gamut displays and photography. In addition, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 2 featuring second-gen S2 SiP (System in Package) — also now water resistant and GPS-equipped — and Bluetooth AirPods and other new wireless headphones to make up for the loss of the iPhone’s headphone jack.
“Apple has integrated their force touch technology previously used for the iPhone 6s screen and the MacBook trackpads into the home button, removing the mechanical aspects of it,” reports AnandTech. “Instead, like the aforementioned devices, what you’re looking at is a pressure-sensitive surface with the taptic engine being used to simulate the necessary feedback.”
Apple has been introducing DCI-P3 wide color gamut support to its product lineup, including its 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and the top-to-bottom upgrade for the iPhone 7 also extends to the device’s cameras. While DCI-P3 allows for deeper colors closer to the full spectrum of what humans can see, the new phone does not include the iPad’s True Tone capability.
The new cameras tout a 12MP sensor and improved feature set, including an updated true tone flash comprised of 4 LEDs and optical image stabilization for photos and video recording.
The new camera also features a six element lens, and the sensor is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than its predecessor. The iPhone 7 Plus includes a second 12MP camera with a 56mm, f/2.8 telephoto lens to complement the wide-angle lens found on the primary camera.
As rumored, Apple has removed the iPhone’s headphone jack. However, the company’s standard EarPods will now connect via the Lightning port, and buyers will get a free adapter for other headphones. According to the company, the change is about making more space for future enhancements. “We believe in a wireless future,” said design boss Jony Ive.
During the presentation, Apple introduced several new wireless headphones, including new offerings from Beats and the $159 AirPods (above) — wireless earbuds that charge in their case (shipping in late October).
AirPods, which CNET suggests will “change the headphone market,” use a new proprietary W1 chip developed by Apple (and also found in the new Beats headphones).
The chip “uses ultralow-power Bluetooth and keeps the two earbuds in sync,” explains CNET. “The W1 chip has dual optical sensors and accelerometers in each AirPod that work with the W1 chip to detect when the AirPods are in your ears, so they only play when you’re ready to listen. You access Siri with a double tap to the AirPods and select and control your music, adjust volumes and check your battery life with voice commands.”
Apple’s new phones will cost the same as last year’s models, even with the aforementioned updates, improved battery life, double the storage capacity, and speed “120 times faster than the original iPhone,” notes Recode. The iPhone 7 starts at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769.
The new iPhones ship on September 16 in 28 countries, while pre-orders start on September 9.
Watch Apple’s iPhone 7 Keynote in Two Minutes, Recode, 9/7/16
The iPhone 7 Plus Has Two Cameras That Work as One, The Verge, 9/7/16
The iPhone 7’s New Home Button Isn’t a Real Button, The Verge, 9/7/16
Apple Announces Apple Watch Series 2, AnandTech, 9/7/16
Here’s the New Apple Watch Series 2, Recode, 9/7/16