Apple held another all-singing, all-dancing, product launch in San Francisco Wednesday, as it revealed its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+.
Tim Cook, CEO of the tech giant, started off the show with a video appearance doing some Carpool Karaoke with Late Late Show host James Corden, featuring a special appearance from Pharrell Williams.
There were several big announcements, but the reason everyone was in the auditorium and watching online was to get the first look at Apple’s new iPhone.
There were a couple of accidental leaks on Amazon and Apple’s Twitter account on Wednesday morning, giving people a sneak peak at what to expect.
And the sneak peeks were confirmed by Cook who revealed the “gorgeous” glossy jet-black finished phone that he called “the best iPhone we have ever created.”
The iPhone 7 will cost the same as the iPhone 6 – starting from $649. The iPhone 7+ starts at $769. Orders start being taken on Friday and start shipping a week later.
Headphone jack gone, new wireless Apple AirPods announced
The most talked about aspect of the new phone prior to the announcement was the mooted removal of the analog headphone jack, which many had speculated would lead to millions of existing Apple headphones to be rendered useless.
And while it’s true that ear buds will now be connected to phones via the “lightning” connector at the bottom of the phone – a way to save space so more tech can be put into the phone – every iPhone 7 will come with an adapter so you can still use analog earphones.
Arguably the bigger announcement audio-wise followed, with Apple putting its money on the next generation of wireless headphones called the Apple AirPods, which can give you up to five hours of audio on a single charge, and comes in a case that carries 24 hours of charge itself.
It has infra-red sensors that means it only starts playing when it’s in your ears, and it has speakers that means you can connect with Siri without taking your phone out of your pocket.
Better camera, 2nd camera, and more features
The new iPhone will have two cameras as well, at least the more expensive iPhone 7+ will, which comes with the iPhone 7’s 28mm lens camera with a second camera with a lens twice the size.
This will allow users to take telephoto pictures with 10x zoom capabilities without losing any resolution.
Senior VP Phil Scholler said: “This is the best camera ever made in any smartphone, and for many people will be the most powerful camera you’ve ever owned.”
Here are some of the other new features:
- The phone will have two stereo speakers, making the volume twice as loud as the current iPhone 6 and 6+.
- Longest battery life for an iPhone, two hours longer than iPhone 6 and 6+.
- As well as glossy black, it will also come in four matt colors, including black, silver, gold and rose gold.
- The phone will be completely water and dust resistant.
- The new operating system, iOS 10, has been upgraded with more Siri capabilities, enabling you for example to order a Lyft or Uber with your voice, as well as using it to connect with household Smart technology (such as lights, refrigerators, televisions etc.) via voice command.
New Apple Watch – with Pokemon Go
Apple COO Jeff Williams announced the 2nd incarnation of the Apple Watch, which since its launch made Apple the 2nd biggest watch seller in the world (after Rolex).
Apple Watch Series 2 will not just be splash-resistant, but also swim-resistant up to a depth of 50m, with the only opening in the watch (the speaker) expelling water automatically when you’re done with your swim or surf (it also tracks how much you swim and how many calories you’re burning.)
It also comes equipped with GPS – meaning you don’t need to bring your phone with you to track your movement.
And coming to the new Apple Watch is Pokemon Go, with players able to accrue walking kilometers (so you can unlock eggs) without having to get your phone out, as well as alerting you when a Pokemon is around for you to catch.
The new Apple Watch will cost $369 (as will a new “Nike” branded Apple Watch for runners and hikers), while an upgraded original Apple Watch will go on sale for $269. Pre-orders will start on Sept. 9.
Mario coming to the App Store
Sigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, came to the stage to confirm that Nintendo’s most famous creation will be coming to the Apple App Store in a new game called “Super Mario Run.”
As Miyamoto explains, it will be the first time you can play Mario with one hand, with Mario running automatically and users able to make him jump simply by tapping the screen.
This, he points out, means you can play while hanging onto a subway railing or, he said, while “eating an apple.”
The game, which will come with a set price and won’t have ongoing costs, also features a battle mode that lets you play with friends and also people around the world.