Posts tagged “watch

Apple iPhone Event 2017 Recap

This has been a long year of leaks and speculation about Apple’s latest iPhone and other devices that are released in the fall.  As usual, whether you have them or love them, the world has been on edge for what our friends in Cupertino are going to do and what all will be released.

Will it have a bezel?  Will there be a mac Mini?  Will it have wireless charging?  How much is it going to cost?

Your questions and more were answered on September 12th 2017 — and let’s hope that all of the leaks didn’t spoil all of the goodies Apple had planned for us.


Steve Jobs Theater

Apple’s latest campus is one of the last things that Steve Jobs worked on, from detailing the type of trees that were needed and more.  The Steve Jobs Theater was the place in which this fall Apple Event was to occur and as Tim Cook noted, “It was only fitting that Steve should open his theater” as we watched a very heartfelt video, seen below:

Source: cnet

This marks a great point in the history of Apple and it was no other way to start this event by words from a true visionary.


Apple Watch

Smartwatches, many of us have them; yet, many still do not.  Some view them as a necessity, while others view them as a trivial child’s play thing — needless to say, the Apple Watch is the #1 selling watch on planet earth and touts the most used heart rate sensor of any device.

Let that soak in for a minute.

The Apple Watch has changed lives from making people fitter, more aware of their surroundings and saving a life or two, watch their stories here:

Source: Apple

Today, we met Apple Watch Series 3, one that’s faster and one that has built in LTE (plus GPS) so that you can make calls while you’re away from your iPhone.  Usually phones get thicker when LTE radios and SIM cards are introduced (hello LG) — not this smartwatch.  Apple has integrated the cellular antenna directly into the watch screen itself, while incorporating a tiny eSIM on board the device.

Now that the Apple Watch is faster, featuring it’s W3 chip — we now have Siri on board, but we already had that right?  Now Siri can actually talk to you.

Source: Apple

Prices start at $329 for Series 3 with GPS and $399 with GPS + LTE


Apple TV 4K

Apple has made minor updates to the current Apple TV model and is introducing Apple TV 4K, bringing it inline with 4K content (albeit a small library) that is available today.  The new Apple TV has an upgraded CPU in the A10X Fusion (same chip that’s in the iPad Pro) that is twice as fast as the old with a graphics processesor that is four times faster that the previous model.

Additionally, Apple is bringing 4K content to iTunes and all of your previous HD content that you’ve purchased will be automatically upgraded to 4K, free.

Source: cnet


iPhone

Let’s get to the star, or shall I say, stars of the show — shall we?  For the past 10 years the iPhone has been an icon in the mobile space that has truly changed the world, from the way we interact, to the pictures we take, from the way we authenticate, how we consume apps, media and more — it is a truly iconic device.  Today, Apple built upon that with 3 brand new smartphones to take us into the future.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (yup, skipped S this year) are our successors to iPhones 7 and 7 Plus from last year and there are upgrades brought to each model.  Each device is now sandwiched between two very sturdy panes of glass, allowing for wireless charging — a first for an iPhone supporting the standard Qi, which means existing chargers made by Belkin, Spigen and others will work.  Each device is color-matched to an areospace-grade aluminum bezel and are splash, water and dust resistant IP67 certified.

Top features:

  • New Retina HD display with True Tone (if you’ve used an iPad Pro, you’ve witnessed the greatness of True Tone, shifting to tone of the colors on the display based off of your current lighting situation — this is different from Auto Brightness)
  • A11 Bionic SoC with 6 cores featuring 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, integrated with the first Apple designed GPU for up to 30% faster graphics performance than on previous models.  The A11 Bionic is named “bionic” because of it’s “world tracking” and “scene recognition” abilities, making this vital for AR Kit, which is instantly the world’s largest augmented reality platform.
  • Updated Portrait Mode with new Portrait Lighting, which dynamically changes the lighting on the subject and provide a completely different feel to the photo all done while in the camera app itself
  • Updated speakers to be louder and deliver more bass
  • Bluetooth 5.0 enabling pairing of multiple devices at once
  • LTE Advanced

Source: Apple

Starting at $699 for iPhone 8 and $799 for iPhone 8 Plus at the 64 GB configuration, available for pre-order on 9/15 and available on 9/22.


But wait, there was one more thing…..

Meet iPhone X (ten), the future of the smartphone.

Source: Apple

The screen on the iPhone X stretches from top to bottom and features the same glass on the front and back as the iPhone 8 devices with the surrounding band made of surgical grade stainless steel, meeting the glass in immaculate fashion.  Retina, move aside, iPhone X has an all new Super Retina Display that is 5.8″ diagonally with over 2.7 million pixels and has 458 PPI, the highest resolution ever put in an iPhone and it’s OLED.  This is the first OLED display that has met Apple’s high standards to be placed into a device.  Additionally notes is that the display features HDR, Dolby Vision, one million-to-one contrast ratio, color accuracy, 3D touch and True Tone.

But let’s talk camera…or cameras.  The iPhone X features the dual camera system, which sports Optical Image Stabilization in each lens and now, Portrait Mode can be used on the front-facing camera as well.

ipx_camera

Source: Pocketnow

Gesture Based Navigation

Since the iPhone X does away completely with the iconic home button of old, there has to be a way to get around the operating system.  The home button is replaced with a thin bar that is accessible at the bottom of the screen at any time.  With a series of swipe gestures you can get to where to need to go, quickly.

  • Swipe up — Home
  • Swipe up and hold — Multitasking

Source: cnet

Face ID

A whole new way to unlock your device, which is actually more secure than Touch ID.  Let’s clear something up here, Face ID is NOT just your ordinary “Face Unlock” seen on phones in the past that essentially compare a picture of your face to what is seen in the viewfinder of the front-facing camera.  The iPhone X features complex depth senors in Apple’s new “True Depth” camera sensor located at the top of the device’s display that actually analyze 30,000 invisible dots on your face — meaning that it really recognizes your face, really.

ipx_depthsensors

iPhone X depth sensors.

That is regardless if you change hairstyles, add glasses, add hats and more — your iPhone X still knows who you are on a new level.

ipx_FaceID1

iPhone X, Face ID — a technology that truly analyzes your face that replaces Touch ID on the latest high-end iPhone.

It’s a natural and effortless way to access your device that works even in the dark.

Features:

  • Easily setup
  • Specialized neural networks for your security
  • Face data protected by the secure enclave
  • On-device processing (not uploaded to Apple servers)
  • Requires user attention to unlock (eyes must be open and looking at the device)
  • 1 in 1,000,000 chance of another user unlocking your iPhone X
  • Works with Apple Pay
  • Adapts over time

View all features and specs of the new iPhone X that I might’ve missed, here:

Source: Apple


Key Takeaways

After watching and reading about one of the biggest announcements, since iPhone — there is nothing to be underwhelmed about here and the iPhone X dominated the show, although it was the last item to be debuted.  Apple Watch Series 3 has continued to build on the path set forth by it’s predecessor, while the Apple TV gained what the market wanted it to so badly have, 4K.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s latest announcement?  Get involved and join the conversation, tweet me @Dexter_Johnson, I’ll be there waiting.

2016 Apple iPhone Keynote, Recap

Tim Cook, Pharrell Williams and James Corden appear in a car singing their favorite tunes along with small talk about the new iPhone.  They arrive at a door and Tim gets out and walks onto stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium — and it begins.
AppleEvent9_7

Stats from Tim
Apple Music
Apple’s music service is noted to have reached 17 million total subscriptions and features numerous exclusives from various artists such as Drake and Frank Ocean.
App Store
Since it’s inception there have been 140 billion app downloads.  The catalog contains approximately 500,000 games, making up the largest category on the App Store.  This incredible figure makes the iPhone/iPad combination the largest gaming platform.  Due to these feats by the iOS devices, Mario — that’s right — Mario, our favorite plumber will be gracing iOS with a new game entitled Super Mario Run!
Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

This is the first time that a Mario game has been pushed officially by Nintendo to a mobile operating system and I’d easily say that they made the right choice by pushing it to the App Store.  It is created with one-handed gaming in mind and features competitive features in the mode “Toad Rally”.
Education
ConnectED is a national initiative to bring technology to underserved students.  With this Apple is working to donate iPads to 50K students.  Additionally, we’ve seen updates to iWork with improvements in collaboration similar to other applications like Google Docs where the user can see additions made by other collaborators.

New Products
Apple Watch
The Apple Watch was second only to Rolex in the world for sales revenue in the year 2015 and is the top selling smartwatch overall.
Introducing Apple Watch Series 2.
With these impressive stats Apple has worked to produce Apple Watch Series 2 that is completely redesigned on the inside to provide water resistance.  Additionally, the new wearable will be touting the Apple S2 processor, which garners faster app speeds on the device.  This new mobile processor will also make it’s way to the first-generation Apple Watch, which will still be sold by the company.  Furthermore, with the advent of the new Apple S2 processor, comes the new GPU that is 2x faster than the previous generation.
The display has been updated to be 2x brighter, blasting out pixel at 1000 nits (really bright, this is the brightest display that Apple has even put inside of one of it’s devices).  With new processors built for speed the new drove of Apple Watch devices are poised to be great for new adopters.
Sport and fitness have been some of the highlight features of the Apple Watch and these alone have made it be one of the premier fitness trackers in the industry and with the introduction of GPS things are only going to get better (if the GPS feature is not something that you long for, opting for Series One is still a good idea or even the first-generation without the new processor if you can handle a device that is a tad slower).  GPS tracking is a crucial feature for runners, cyclists and more who want a precise recap of the exact route that they followed.  Apple has also partnered with Nike to create the Apple Watch Nike+.  This specific model is similar to the Hermes Apple Watch that comes with a different band and a new watchface.   The Nike+ watchface will provide a sporty interface in addition the watch will remind the user to run and get active.
The Series 2 device with an additional finish of ceramic will start at $369 and the updated Series 1 (first-generation Apple Watch) will be sold at $269.

iPhone
The Apple iPhone is the best selling product of it’s kind in the history of the world and has sold 1 billion units.  Changes coming to iOS 10 include a newly redesigned Maps app that includes the ability to book rides and more directly from the app, changes to HomeKit, which is supported by virtually every major home automation product manufacturer, that are throughout the Home app that truly integrates home automation unlike any portal integrated into any mobile OS, changes to iMessage for more expression and tweaks and improvements that make this the fastest and best version of iOS to date.  But with it has to come new hardware, right?
Introducing iPhone 7.
The iPhone 7 is coming to us with a slew of new features, which are detailed below:
  • All new jet black and black colors (Apple notes that the Jet Black color option may scratch easily and promote the use of a case)
  • Home button is changed from a physical button to a Force-touch button, similar to the trackpad on the MacBook and MacBook Pro line that works based off of the patented Taptic engine (see below, the removal of the headphone jack allows for this innovation)
Apple home button Taptic engine placement.

Apple home button Taptic engine placement.

  • Water and dust resistant (IP67 certified) with gaskets throughout the housing
  • Camera features OIS on both 7 and 7 Plus models (additional camera features below)
    • F 1.8 aperture
    • 6 element lens
    • 12 MP sensor that is 60% faster than the previous model
    • Quad-LED true tone flash
    • Wide color gamut photos
    • RAW image capture
    • 7 MP facetime HD camera
    • 7 Plus features two 12 MP cameras, one wide-angle and another is telephoto so that the focal length can be manipulated and achieve the bokeh effect — these features will come as an update to iPhone 7 Plus users
iPhone 7 camera details.

iPhone 7 camera details.

  • Stereo speakers (one on top another on bottom)
  • Improvements to the Retina HD display that make it 25% brighter and support for a wide color gamut
  • No headphone jack, lightning ear pods are included (additionally a lightning to 3.5mm adapater comes with every iPhone 7 device)
  • Wireless AirPods, which feature the Apple W1 chip, are wireless buds that require one time setup and sync across all devices through iCloud
Apple's new AirPods, starting at $159

Apple’s new AirPods, starting at $159

  • Apple Pay support in Japan
  • Performance improvements through the newly design A10 Fusion chip, which is a 4 core 64-bit CPU that contains 2 high performance and 2 high efficiency cores (these can help save battery life when doing less intense tasks such as Email, calculator, light web-browsing and more)
A10 Fusion chip details.

A10 Fusion chip details.

All of these features for the same price as the previous generation, with the addition of more storage.  So, starting at $649 you will get the iPhone 7 models that come in either 32, 128 or 256GB configurations with these options replicating down to the existing iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.  The iPhone 7 will be available for preorder on 9/9 and will ship on 9/16.
iPhone Storage Configurations

iPhone Storage Configurations


Bottom line and takeaways:  This is a very solid announcement for Apple and a leap forward for the iPhone and Watch lines.  The camera is certainly the biggest selling feature on this device and with pictures becoming more and more important in our lives — it should be a focalpoint.  The removal of the headphone jack may make some upset, but it’s 2016 — get over it and use wireless devices.  Why tether yourself to a device that is meant to be mobile?  One note is that the AirPods are absolutely disgraceful — they are hideous, if you don’t get the point.  One of the newly released pairs of Beats wireless headphones seem to be a better choice here.  Additionally, revamping the home button is something much needed as that is the primary button on the device and it is known for collecting dust and sometimes becoming inoperable on older devices — this is huge.

Apple Watch Series 2 simply builds on the great foundation that was laid out by the first-generation device.  Now with better waterproofing, a new ceramic case and a faster processor — these updates bring it into 2016 with a bang.

Of course with any update, this is the best iPhone to date, with better storage options, same pricing scheme, snappy A10 Fusion chip — what more could we ask for?


Let’s end with a quick hands on of the newly announced iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 devices below, Enjoy.

iPhone 7 Hands on.

Apple Watch Series 2 Hands on.

September 9th Apple Event, The Rundown

The crowds are gathered, with Apple devices clinched in hands, to await word from Tim Cook and other important members from Apple.  This was quite the impressive event, due to the fact that there were many new things introduced, updated and unveiled.

First, we got down to business with new innovation on Watch OS 2, shown proudly on the Apple Watch.  Health is the focus here, with doctors having the ability to help pregnant moms, to viewing the health stats of a patient that he is currently in transit to — big help and a good innovation here.  (These are likely enterprise only features that would not be used by the general public.)  Innovation is innovation, nonetheless.

Next, we get into Apple TV and the new iPad Pro.  Let’s start off by saying, the re-imagined Apple TV is just what Apple needed.  The previous generation was nothing short of horrific.  No apps, no apps and no apps.  If it couldn’t be cast by Air Play or use one of the built in features for the Apple TV, you were not going to watch it.  The new Apple TV features a curated version of the iOS App Store that has room for fun games and excellent interactive apps.  Then you have the new Siri enabled remote, which allows you to ask questions regarding movie titles and more and essentially guide you through your experience on the device.  Some question the amount of talking you are going to do with the remote in hand; however, the way it is designed — you may almost be forced into using the voice features.  The remote does not include a directional pad as the previous iteration did, it includes a swipepad.  However, the App Store addition alone is enough for owners of the previous generation to automatically upgrade.  Yes, do it.

Refreshed Apple TV.

Refreshed Apple TV.

Let’s talk about the iPad Pro.  Apple’s new 12.9″ behemoth of a tablet, starting off at $799 at the lowest storage option, is seemingly the company’s answer to the Microsoft Surface tablet.  “The most powerful iPad yet” and they are not lying, this thing is a monster, paired with the optional keyboard cover and Apple Pen and you have quite the creation tool.  The Apple Pen will allow for intensive graphics creation from supporting Adobe apps, in addition to more creation inside of the Microsoft Office suite.  This tablet will certainly only appeal to a select audience due to it’s price tag and large size.  As we know the iPad Mini is the best selling Apple tablet, and it appears that it will stay that way, even with the introduction of a larger sibling.  Note that in order for you to have the full experience that Apple was touting, this setup with cost you a little over $1000, even at it’s lowest storage option (remember the mention of a select audience?).  Let’s not forget to mention that this guy is packing 4 speakers, making for a better stereo sound experience.

iPad Pro lineup.

iPad Pro lineup.

The part of the presentation that we were all waiting for, iPhone.  As we have come to expect, the S lineup is usually a small iteration on the lineup that came before it; however, this time is different for Apple.  This time, Apple has actually made big under the hood changes (that is, instead of making one new change and making you shell out more cash for something trivial).

  • New A9 processor which should be much improved from the previous generation
  • 2 GB of RAM, increased from 1 GB
  • 5 MP iSight camera
  • 12 MP rear camera with 4K video
  • 3D touch (Apple’s new take on a long press, deals with pressing the screen with variable pressure to initiate and can bring up different context menus on apps)

[Source: CNet, Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6S]

Is this “S” iteration worth the upgrade?  As with any S upgrade, it’s up to you, as history shows itself, the S is always better than the previous, it is hard for me to understand why you would buy any Apple phone that’s not the second generation, as you don’t have to have every iteration.  Users of the iPhone 6 may not wish to upgrade so soon, but if you are carrying around a 5S, this is almost a must buy.

Overall, this was the best press event of the year (to date) in regard to releases and news from from the presentation.