Well folks, it’s that time of year again. No, not back-to-school time — Apple time! Apple has held its September 7 event, where the company’s latest and greatest products for the year were revealed.
Apple’s fall event is usually reserved for hardware. However, there were a few other tidbits of releases we saw at the event. There was even mention of Pokémon Go. In case you missed it, from the iPhone 7 to the Apple Watch 2 to Mario, here’s everything we saw at Apple’s fall event.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
The main reveal at the event was, as usual, the new iPhones, called the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While you could argue that this version of the iPhone doesn’t feature as much of a redesign as some were hoping, the new device represents a radical shift for the company in many ways.
Perhaps most important is the fact that the new iPhone does indeed do away with the headphone jack. This could eventually make waves all over the tech industry. Along with that change, Apple announced its new AirPod earbuds, which are sold separately from the iPhone — instead of getting them in the box with the iPhone 7, you’ll get standard EarPods with a Lightning connector on them instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Another big part of the new iPhone is the fact that the iPhone 7 Plus features a dual camera, one of which is a wide-angle lens. This allows for things like improved long-range shots and improved depth-of-field. Not only that, but iPhone shooters will also finally be able to capture photos in the RAW file format.
The new series of phones is also water-resistant with an IP67 rating. That’s pretty good. Officially, it means that the phone can withstand being in up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes. Don’t drop your phone in water if you can help it and don’t go swimming with it, but if you happen to drop it in the bath, you should be fine.
Under the hood, the base model of the iPhone now has 32GB of storage and both devices feature Apple’s new A10 Fusion processor. The iPhone 7 starts at $649 for the standard version and $769 for the iPhone Plus, but Apple has also dropped the price of the iPhone 6S, now starting at $99. The iPhone 7 is available for pre-order starting on September 9.
Apple Watch 2
The second most important announcement at the event was the new Apple Watch 2, or Apple Watch ‘series 2’ as Apple is calling it. The device isn’t a huge improvement over the original Apple Watch, but comes with a few key upgrades. Perhaps the most important is the fact that the Apple Watch 2 features a GPS chip, essentially meaning that you won’t need your iPhone to connect to GPS on the Apple Watch anymore. That means you can track your runs and map where you’re going without the need for an iPhone at all times.
Second is that the device is now waterproof — yes, waterproof, unlike the iPhone. This, in fact, is a device you can take swimming. In fact, Apple encourages it. As part of the device’s fitness tracking features, it will now be able to track your swimming and calories burned while you’re swimming.
Apple also upgraded the device’s processor to the S2, which Apple says is 50 percent faster than its predecessor and double the graphics performance.
The Apple Watch 2 starts at $369 for the aluminum sport version of the device, but if you don’t need waterproofing or GPS you can also get the ‘Apple Watch Series 1’ for $269.
Pokémon Go is coming to the Apple Watch
That’s right, you can now catch Pokémon straight from your wrist — oh wait, no you can’t. But you can do pretty much everything else in Pokémon Go. Support from Pokémon Go is being brought to the Apple Watch, allowing you to track how far you’ve walked, hatch eggs, see which Pokémon are nearby, and more.
The main screen of the app will show your level and how far you need to go before you’ll advance to the next level. You’ll also be able to collect items from a PokéStop. At the end of your walk or run, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve gone and which items you collected along the way.
Perhaps the only thing you can’t do in the app is actually catch Pokémon. For that you’re going to need to pull out your phone and catch them the old fashioned way.
New headphones aplenty
As mentioned, the new iPhone does away with the headphone jack, begging the question: how on earth should we listen to music? Apart from the EarPods with the Lightning connector on the end, Apple also unveiled its new AirPod wireless earbuds, which connect to the iPhone with the new ‘W1’ chip in the iPhone. This chip is very similar to Bluetooth, but it’s aimed at being more energy efficient, helping keep the iPhone charged a little longer.
Apple also unveiled a few new pairs of Beats headphones to work with the new W1 chip. These include the Beats Solo3 headphones, which are available now in six colors, as well as the Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones, and the Beats X earbuds. It is safe to say that many people will be bummed about the omission of the headphone jack (which is remedied by the included adapter anyway), but it is nice that there are at least a few headphones that work with Apple’s new technology.
Mario is finally coming to the App Store
You read that headline correctly. Nintendo has long refused to bring its core titles to the smartphone, but we can only assume that after the success of Pokémon Go, it had to have more. And more it will have — Mario is finally making his way to the iPhone in a new Mario game called Super Mario Run. The game is a little different from other Mario games in that it’s a little simplified — Mario never stops running in the game. Instead, as Mario runs, you must guide him through the course so you can collect as many points as possible. The game is aimed at being playable with one hand, and will ramp up in difficulty as you go.
An exact price has yet to be revealed for the app, but it is important to note that it is indeed a paid app rather than a freemium app where you need to buy stuff in-game.The game will be available starting in December.
Even Apple Pay made a (brief) appearance. Apple Pay has slowly been taking over the world, and the latest related news is that it will be coming to Japan. Of course, in order to do that, Apple had to jump through a few hoops. You see, they don’t really use NFC technology in Japan like we do here — instead they use a technology called Felica, which is similar in many ways. To get around this, Apple is basically shipping a different version of the iPhone in Japan as in the rest of the world — the Japanese iPhone 7 will ship with Felica support.
iOS, MacOS, and WatchOS
Apple’s event was largely dedicated to hardware, but there were still a few key software announcements. For example, we now know the release date of Apple’s major operating systems. iOS 10, the new operating system for the iPhone, is set to be released on September 13, only a few days after pre-order for the new iPhone opens up. MacOS Sierra will be available to Mac owners starting on September 20 — interesting, considering we still have no word on new Mac computers. Last but not least, WatchOS 3 will also be available on September 13, alongside iOS 10.
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