Apple unveils new iPhone 7, updates Apple Watch, debuts wireless AirPod earbuds

Apple Watch Series 2 goes for a swim

Apple just got done dropping all its new mobile hardware at its annual launch event, held in San Francisco. Apple started with the new Apple Watch Series 2. The two big additions to the watch are a so-called “swim-proof” casing, and a built-in GPS chip. The Apple Watch is now waterproof down to 50 meters, or about 164 feet, which is good enough for a shallow dive, but Apple’s real aim is to put it on the arms of swimmers.

And for those runners, bikers, and hikers out there, the watch no longer relies on an iPhone to track distance, route, and speed traveled. With built-in GPS, the watch should be able to integrate with any number of forthcoming fitness tracking apps.

The battery life is no better, topping out at about one day per charge, but it did get a faster CPU, better graphics chip, and it’s a lot brighter, now able to crank out up to 1000 nits, a brightness metric Apple summed up as “a whole lot of nits.” Yeah, it’s a lot of nits – think as bright as some of the best 4K TVs out today.

iPhone 7 Plus is ready for your close-up

Next up was the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and while there were a few surprises, we got most of what the rumor mill had predicted. The new smartphones are water resistant, though not water proof, there’s a shiny new gloss black shell, dual cameras for the 7 Plus, and no headphone jack.

After Jony Ive regaled us with details on how it achieved its shiny and slender new form factor, details were dished on the iPhone’s impressive new 12 MP cameras, image processing, and lots, lots more. Suffice it to say, it really is the finest camera system Apple’s come up with yet, and possibly one of the best cameras available in a Smartphone.

The 7 Plus gets a bonus camera, one which is fixed at 56 mm as a telephoto lens, allowing for more zoom with less image degradation. The new iPhones also have more powerful chips inside, but perhaps one of the biggest confirmations we got was with the absence of a headphone jack.

What’s that in your ear?

Apple had a few reasons for making the bold move, but central to its argument was one word: Courage. It sure does take a lot of guts to kill off the jack that we’ve all been using for decades, but Apple says it wants to move forward with its vision for audio. That vision includes lightning-connected EarPods and a new proprietary W1 wireless chip which helped spawn the all-new, completely wireless set of AirPods, and three series of new Beats wireless headphones.

It’s not Bluetooth, it’s something else – something Apple says makes wireless headphones better, with faster and simpler connectivity. We’ll have to wait and see how the sound quality turns out, but we doubt it will be any worse than the latest Bluetooth versions. There is of course a LOT more to all of these devices, so you’ll want to get the full scoop for each right here at Digital Trends.


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