Everything Apple announced at the iPhone event that actually matters
Apple opened its iPhone 8 event as it always does its get-togethers: with a tug at the heart strings, followed by lots and lots of whooping.
“Steve meant so much to me – and all of us. Steve’ s spirit and timeless philosophy on life will always be the DNA of Apple,” Tim Cook said as the launch got underway.
The first portion of the launch was very much a celebration of Jobs’ life and work at Apple – as well as the all-new Steve Jobs Theater that’s dedicated to him – but soon enough we got a mention of “the next generation of Apple products to change the world” and we were into the business end of things.
Well, sort of.
Before that, we got a customarily barf-worthy overview of the ‘Apple retail experience’. For starters, Apple Stores no longer really exist, we were told – they’re “town squares” now, got it?! There was something about natural sunlight, because everyone likes natural sunlight, right? And something about Paris, because everyone loves Paris.
Apple Watch 3
But then, a-ha! Products, and we kicked off with the Apple Watch 3. Its growth has been “incredible,” Tim Cook told us, and it’s now apparently the ‘most popular watch in the world’.
“We have some great news about the future of Apple Watch,” Cook said before we got an overview of all things watchOS 4.
The key talking point was about the Apple Watch’s fitness potential – and specifically, its new HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) capabilities and improved heart rate monitoring features.
As expected, it’s also going to come with built-in LTE connectivity– this, apparently, is the “ultimate expression of Apple Watch.” As well as keeping you connected, it’s also going to make it easier to stream music (Apple Music, of course) right from your wrist, and Siri is going to be able to talk to you from the new Apple Watch to boot.
The Watch 3 will be offered in Gold, Silver, and Space Grey; they’ll be a new band called the ‘Sport Loop’; and new Nike+ Apple Watch colour options. Two versions will be made available: the LTE model at $399, and a cellular-less variant for $329. Series 1 will be dropped to $249 – which sounds like curtains for the Apple Watch 2.
In the UK, the Apple Watch Series 3 is going to be an EE exclusive. Pre-orders will start on September 15, with September 22 pegged as its release date.
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Related: Apple Watch 3 vs Apple Watch 2
Next up was the Apple TV.
This was a long overdue update, in the eyes of many Apple fans, so it’s a damn good thing we finally got the 4K Apple TV we’ve been craving for years.
Of course, Apple talked about the new (5th-gen) Apple TV like it bloody invented 4K UHD technology. There was the expected HDR name drop, too, which the Cupertino-based firm also seemed intent on taking credit for. And Dolby Vision. Next up? The iWheel. Sigh.
Apple TV will support both Netflix 4K and Prime Video UHD content by the end of the year, plus region-specific streaming, and you’ll be able to get 4K movies from iTunes.
All in all, a very worthy update, if an overly gushy one.
Related: iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus
Then, the big guns came out and Tim Cook returned to talk all things iPhone. This was the one (or, rather, THREE) we’d been waiting for, so let’s not mess around.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
First up was the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which Phil Schiller introduced. These devices will have a Retina HD display complete with TrueTone technology, glass on both the back and front sides, and come available in Silver, Space Grey, and Gold. The stereo speakers are going 25% louder than those found on the iPhone 7, as well as boasting “deeper bass.”
And of course, there’s a new chip – the expected A11 processor, or A11 Bionic, as it’s now going to be called.
Schiller says it’s “the most powerful and smartest chip” Apple has ever made, boasting cores that are 70% faster and Apple’s first ever in-house designed GPU. There’s a host of new camera features, too, that merit a deep dive rather than simply regurgitating Schiller’s marketing patter.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will both support Qi wireless charging (as well as Bluetooth 5), with the likes of Belkin and Mophie on-board as accessory parters at launch.
The iPhone 8 will be offered in 64GB and 256GB models, starting at $699. The iPhone 8 Plus will be available with the same storage capacities from $799. Pre-orders will go live on September 15, ahead of a September 22 release date.
So, there you have it – two new iPhones, a new 4K Apple TV, and a new Apple Watch. Pretty full on launch event, right?
Except, this year (as we always knew we would) we’re getting one of Apple’s famous “one more things.”
Related: iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7
The iPhone X is positioned as Apple’s most premium handset ever, featuring an 5.8-inch OLED edge-to-edge display, Face ID unlocking technology, and a new ‘Super Retina’ 2436 x 1125 pixel screen.
Sadly, it’s not going to come cheap – or be available particularly soon. Pricing for the new iPhone X is set to start at $999 (expect £899+ by the time it hits the UK), with pre-orders set to go live on October 27, ahead of a final November 3 release date.
Related: What is OLED?
That’s your complete summary of everything Apple launched at its September 12 event. Share your favourite new product with us @TrustedReviews.