Two refreshed & the iPhone of the future: Apple Launch Event 2017

Apple’s big announcement for 2017 has taken place, and we’ve got all the need-to-knows on the new phones and bits and bobs around the keynote.

Many of the leaks have got it correct, with not two but three new phones being announced; iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X. Here are all things Apple, and all the things you need to know about what’s on offer in 2017.

Apple TV, Watch Series 3 & Software

This year Apple TV has been refreshed. The service will now come out supporting 4K/HDR TV, with some other minor updates behind the scenes.

The Apple Watch has also been updated, with the Watch Series 3. These come in the same 38mm or 42mm cases, with customisation options and water resistance as per usual. Added into the mix this year however, is a cellular connection. Apple has been able to ensure the Watch is feature rich, before adding this in, making the product far more appealing than before. Being able to answer calls has been a feature on many smartwatches for the last two years, although now the user can in fact place a call straight from their wrist. How this will perform is yet to be seen, although apple have claimed the new OS on the watch will make it up to 50% more power efficient. – WatchOS4 will couple with the product line, available a little after orders begin. More on prices and release dates later.

Apple Watch Series 3 will not be the only one getting an update in terms of software; iOS 11 will also be made available, from 19 Sept.

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

It is difficult to tell the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus apart from the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus; as it seems these do feel more iPhone 7 “S” than 8. Perhaps it is this year that Apple has decided to ditch the S, and go on counting 7, 8 (and then skipping 9 for 10, it being the tenth year edition iPhone).

Design wise there is only one big change; the back of the phone. Instead of the usual metal now we have a glass back. This finally means Apple have caught up with Samsung in the aspect of wireless charging. Specifications have been bumped up slightly, with a new chipset called the “A11 Bionic”, and cameras which are still 12MP, but have been improved to create a path to the third phone announced. Everything else, is exactly the same. If you have purchased an iPhone 7 recently, or have one in good condition, you may be better skipping this one. The base model has been made 64GB finally, with the 8 coming with 2GB RAM, and the 8 Plus and X with 3GB.

Apple iPhone X

Apple has always been known for innovation. With the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, we are met more with familiarity. The real money-earner here is the iPhone X. Apple’s ten year anniversary iPhone. The specifications inside, are identical to iPhone 8’s – more or less. The eye-capturing design however is what has fans drooling. Brands like Samsung, LG and Xiaomi have already introduced us to bezel-less, “edge to edge” and “infinity” displays. In 2016 many of us thought, imagine an iPhone doin that. Finally, here it is.

The screen is an extra few pixels larger than the 5.5 inch, 1920x1080p 8 Plus. It comes in at 5.8 inches stretched across the panel with a slightly higher resolution of 1125x2436p. This bigger, bezel-less screen removes the home button. Thus removing the fingerprint scanner/home button too. Instead, now we have the phone’s sensors and front facing camera notched in onto the screen at the top, with new sensors added in specially for “Face ID”. Bear in mind this is not for the iPhone 8 as well, the fingerprint scanner with Touch ID is still how we unlock those two devices. This new design will of course mean new navigation. No home button, means no pressing it to go home, or view tasks. Now a gesture input is required to navigate the new iOS. Swiping up from the very bottom shows you your tasks, a swipe up from a bar shown on the screen is to return home and a swipe from the top right edge of the screen is where we find control panel. Swiping down from the middle will bring down notifications, and up in the home screen will bring up search. The power key on the right of the phone can also be used to hold down, and open Siri. The cameras are the same as the iPhone 8’s, with a new vertical design, on the glass back for wireless charging. New portrait modes to control lighting has polished the experience on both front and back cameras. – Making selfies just a little better than before as well. There are a few software gimmicks that come with the new features of the phone too, such as “Animojis” which let you record emojis using your face to move them, for inserting into messages.

Base Model Prices

Apple Watch Series 3 – $529 NZD September 15

iPhone 8 – $1,249 NZD September 15 Pre-Orders

iPhone 8 Plus – $1,449 NZD September 15 Pre-Orders

iPhone X – $1,799 NZD October 27 Orders