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iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K: Everything Announced At Today’s Apple Keynote

iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K: Everything Announced At Today’s Apple Keynote

Apple have rung in the ten year anniversary of the original iPhone at their September keynote, announcing a new Apple Watch, Apple TV 4K, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus along with the the ultra-premium iPhone X

After christening the company's new Steve Jobs Theater with the voice of its namesake and talking about the ideas behind its changing retail strategy, the first big announcement of the event came with the new Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple Watch Series 3

Touting 50% year-on-year growth in 2016 and 97% customer satisfaction, Apple say that their flagship smartwatch has now surpassed Rolex to become the number one watch in the world.

Now, with Apple Watch Series 3, the device is getting cellular connectivity courtesy of the Apple-made W2 wireless chipset. They say this chipset offers 70% faster processing speed over the previous Apple Watch and better Bluetooth and wireless connectivity.


Both in design and durability-factor, the Series 3 follows in the footsteps of the Series 2. Along with the same colors and style options of its predecessors, a few new watchband designs are now available. Specifically, the new addition to the range comes in the form of the new Sports Loop bands.

With the Apple Watch 3 able to stream music via Apple Music and Apple’s AirPods, it’s more of a miniaturized iPhone than ever before. It features an electronic SIM card to save space and runs on the new version of Apple’s WatchOS software. With Watch OS4, Apple have added smarter coaching, a new high-intensity workout kit and some new gym connectivity features. Enhancements are also coming to the heart rate app, enabling it to warn users if their heart-rate becomes elevated while not active.

Cellular and non-LTE variants are both going to be available in Australia. Locally, the 4G Watch S3 will be carried through Optus and Telstra.

The. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will be available in gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel at a starting RRP AUD $559.

The GPS-only version comes in just gold, silver or space grey aluminium cases with a Sport Band but is a little more affordable at an RRP of AUD $459.

Preorders open on the 15th of September. Shipping begins on the 22nd.

Apple TV 4K

Home entertainment was next on the docket, with Apple announcing the long-overdue Apple TV 4K.

The Apple TV 4K supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision - even to the extent that the device’s screensavers and menus have been designed and curated to show it off.


The biggest detail here is that, as well as now selling 4K TV shows and movies through the iTunes store for the same price as the HD versions, all your existing HD movie purchases will be automatically upgraded to 4K.

Apple say they’re working with Netflix, Amazon and all the major Hollywood studios to bring their content to Apple TV in 4K and HDR going forward.


Courtesy of an A10X Fusion chipset - the same one that powering iPad Pro - Apple are positioning it as a compelling platform for gaming experiences as well. The company's keynote saw them bring in ThatGameCompany’s Jenova Chen to show off how the arthouse developers new game Sky runs on the hardware.


Live sports also look to be a priority for Apple, with the company’s new Apple TV app allowing US customers to easily track their favorite teams and get on-screen notifications whenever they are playing, as well as see all the teams, leagues and sporting events currently playing through a dedicated Sports tab.


In Australia, the new app will roll out later this month. However, there’s no word yet on whether or how the live sport functions will manifest here.

Locally, the pricing for Apple TV 4K starts at AUD $249 for 32GB or AUD $279 for 64GB.

Preorders open on the 15th of September. Shipping begins on the 22nd.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Next up, Apple announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.


Made from aerospace-grade aluminum and glass reinforced by steel on both sides, Apple say the new iPhone is made from the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone. It’ll be available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold.

Both devices come “microscopically sealed” against water and dust damage and featuring a Retina HD Display. The 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus also feature the same TrueTone Display tech found in the newer Macbook, which allow the screen to adapt to the light around for better visibility.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will also be the first iPhones to support wireless charging via the Qi open standard.

Internally, the new smartphones pack a 25%  louder speakers with deeper bass and run on Apple’s new A11 Bionic chipset. With two performance cores (20% faster than the iPhone 7) and four high performance cores (70% faster than the iPhone 7), the iPhone 8 might look pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but promises to deliver drastically improved performance.


The device will also come with the first Apple-designed GPU, designed for games and machine-learning applications, and an Apple-designed image signal processor that promises faster autofocus and less noise in pictures taken with the camera.

Speaking of, the iPhone 8 boasts a single 12-megapixel camera while the iPhone 8 Plus packs in two 12-megapixel cameras  (f/1.8 and f/2.8) and introduces new Portrait Lighting functionality. This feature uses machine learning to modify and recreate real-time lighting, allowing customers to capture stunning portraits with a shallow depth-of-field effect in five different lighting styles.


It’s no slouch when it comes to video either. Apple say the iPhone 8 offers the highest-quality video capture ever in a smartphone. It can shoot 4K at 60 FPS and slow-motion footage in 1080p up to 240 FPS.

Augmented reality is also an area where Apple see the camera as a major use case. The iPhone 8’s improved performance makes it the ideal platform for apps developed using ARKit.

“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are a new generation of iPhone that improve on everything we love about iPhone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have new glass and aluminium designs, new Retina HD displays and A11 Bionic — the smartest chip ever in a smartphone. Packed with more advanced cameras with Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting, and the highest quality video capture in a smartphone, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus enable the freedom of wireless charging, all with AR optimisation like no phone ever before.”

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in space grey, silver and an all-new gold finish in 64GB and 256GB capacity models starting at an RRP of AUD $1079 for the iPhone 8 and AUD $1229 iPhone 8 Plus.

Preorders open on the 15th of September. Shipping begins on the 22nd.

iPhone X

With CEO Tim Cook calling it “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”, the new iPhone X (pronounced as “iPhone 10”) features an edge-to-edge design and slick OLED display.


On top of these aesthetic characteristics, the 5.8-inch smartphone boasts an all-new Super Retina display which supports HDR in both Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards and packs a million-to-one contrast ratio. It’s got a resolution of 2436 x 1125 and a pixel density of 458 ppi.

Where the iPhone 8 looks like the iPhone on the outside but features major improvements on the inside, the iPhone X features a lot of the same internal specs as the iPhone 8 but boasts a radically different look and feel.

At first glance, the iPhone X looks a little bit like Andy Rubin’s Essential phone. There are no buttons on the face or rear-side of the device. Instead of pressing a home key, Apple have replaced that function with a singular swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen.


Tapping any part of the screen will awaken the iPhone X and, from there, it takes only a glance to unlock it using Apple’s new Face ID facial recognition feature. Unlike some of the other facial recognition options in the smartphone market, Apple say that Face ID doesn’t just take a picture of your face but rather a 3D map of it. They say this allows it to tell who you are whether you’re wearing a hat, glasses or new hair.


During the presentation, they joked that it might not be able to stop an evil twin but can’t be tricked by photos of you or even Hollywood-grade special effect masks.

The true-depth camera powering this feature also ties into the device’s support for “Animojis”. Here, the device leverages the facemapping tech powering FaceID and uses that to animate the expressions of the emojis in real-time based on the users expressions.



The camera in the iPhone X also promises to offer an ever beefier upgrade on the image quality found in the iPhone 8. The iPhone X features a ƒ/1.8 aperture on the wide-angle camera and an improved ƒ/2.4 aperture on the telephoto one.

In addition, the front-facing camera now supports both Portrait mode and the new Portrait Lighting found in the iPhone 8 and the dual-lens setup on the back now boasts the same dual optical image stabilization found the Galaxy Note 8.

“For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display. The iPhone X is the realisation of that vision,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer.

“With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionised the mobile phone with Multi-Touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone — one in which the device disappears into the experience.”


The keynote didn’t get too specific with the battery life of the device but they did note it offers two hours longer-life than the iPhone 7.

The iPhone X will be available in silver and space grey in 64GB and 256GB models, with prices starting at an RRP of AUD $1579 for the 64GB model and AUD $1829 for the 256GB one.

Preorders for the iPhone X open on the 27th of October ahead of a November 3rd launch.

AirPower

Last but not least, Apple gave a sneak peek of  a new Apple-designed wireless charging accessory called AirPower.


AirPower allows iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X customers to simultaneously charge up to three devices, including Apple Watch Series 3 and a new wireless charging case for AirPods.

Apple say that they’ll be working with the Qi team to help standardize the tech behind this feature going forward.

No word yet on pricing but the AirPower will be available sometime next year.


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Tags AppleiPhone XiPhone 8 PlusiPhoneApple Watch Series 3iPhone 8

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