When you're a nerd, and also into sports, life is pretty amazing. Not only do you get the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and other amazing annual sporting events, but twice a year we also get two live events from Apple to announce new software, hardware and other advancements. Yesterday, Apple presented the world with all of the above during their "Apple Special Event", and in case you were busy, don't worry, we've got you. Here are some of our favorite high points:
- THE NEW iPHONE! - As cliche as it is, it's also expected now; every year we get a new iPhone. Whether it's an incremental update of the existing generation (we're looking at you "S" and "C" series) or a complete overhaul like yesterday it's still, well...new...and we love it.
- iPhone 8 & 8 Plus - Makes sense, right? It's the next number in the series, but man oh man is this a better phone than the 7 or 7 Plus. A redesigned front and rear glass encasing, upgraded GPU (graphics processing unit), new 12 megapixel camera with studio lighting effects and augmented reality capability take this phone into the future. Did we mention it also supports wireless charging (via AirPower mat)? Available in the expected 4.7" (standard) and 5.5" (Plus) sizes, pre-orders start on 9/15.
- iPhone X - We couldn't wait to hear about the iPhone "X", and to be honest we were a little embarrassed that we didn't realize it's actually called the iPhone "10" until we heard it. Nevertheless, this phone is the phone of the Jetsons. Stunningly all glass, meaning no home button using new Face ID technology in its place, it's just a thing of beauty. Dual 12 megapixel cameras raise our selfie game to new heights, and combined with all of the new iOS 11 features, we'll definitely be pre-ordering. Available in a single size of 5.8", pre-orders start on 10/27.
- Watch Series 3 - While the new Apple Watch looks virtually identical to its predecessor, in our opinion it was one of the largest advancements we saw during the event. Aside from all of the added features released in watchOS 4 (updated Activity app, daily assistant technology, etc) and an upgraded processor, we finally saw cellular technology integrated into the Apple Watch. This means no longer being tethered to your iPhone to track that afternoon run or for that quick call during the day. The new Series 3 should be available for pre-order on 9/15.
- Apple TV 4K - If you haven't bought that new 4K TV quite yet, it's time. New 4K streaming of digital content such as Netflix, news feeds and even sporting events keeps the Apple TV in the top spot of our own "best Apple device for the dollar" list. Starting at only $179 for the 32GB model, it's tough to find a reason NOT to buy one. Orders should be available on 9/15.
- Face ID - As far as raw technology goes, this is a big deal. Face ID will be available via the iPhone X (referenced above) and uses the phone's upgraded 12 megapixel camera to create a scan of the owner's face for use in place of the familiar Touch ID or passcode that we've all grown accustomed to. The largest concern here is that of security, which as of the writing of this article seems to be the number one "negative" reaction related to the event itself. Questions include things such as "What happens if I am an identical twin?", "What happens in the event of law enforcement access requests" and others that center around unintended access to a user's iPhone X. While we obviously don't have the space to detail responses to all of those issues in this article, Apple did highlight the fact that the likelihood that a user's face identically mirrors that of another is 1 in 1 million. Additionally, Face ID will also work while wearing facial accessories, if a user grows facial hair or even in poor or night time lighting making it more reliable and hopefully detail focused. All in all, we're excited for the potential, but we'll hold judgement until we get our hands on one (or two, or three...) late this year.
Admittedly, we're leaving a lot out, mostly because our hope here is to highlight the more monumental things (in our opinion). But if you do have the time (2 hours to be exact), here's a link directly to Apple's recording of the event; it's absolutely worth the watch, no pun intended. Hopefully though, we've given you enough info to hold your own at the water cooler, impress that guy or girl that you've been crushing on, or just feel "in the know" from yesterday's event.