Above: Apple CEO Tim Cook Announcing Apple’s Latest Products
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – No, there’s no 7S
As the successors to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and a cheaper alternative to the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus bring a new design. Made with a glass back like previous iPhones, the new iPhone no longer has an aluminum body. The new glass back finally allows the iPhone to support wireless charging — but it can still be charged via the usual lightning cable if you don’t want to shell out the cash for the wireless charging pad (sold separately). Hopefully, though, this glass-backed phone fares better than the shatter-prone iPhone 4 and 4S of the past. This new design makes the new iPhones both thicker and heavier, although not by much.
Also new with the iPhone 8 is the A11 “Bionic” chip (Your best guess as to what “Bionic” means is just as good as mine). For the average user, just know this is 25 percent faster than the iPhone 7 and will remain fast for the next few iOS updates. The camera on the iPhone 8 also gets an upgrade, now taking better pictures in low light, with an improved flash that no longer leaves the background dark.
The iPhone 8 also bumps up the base storage size from 32gb to 64gb, which is good considering Apple raised the price of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus $50 and $30 respectively. It comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold (No more Rose Gold, Jet Black, Matte Black, or Red). Overall this new iPhone feels more like an iPhone 7S than an iPhone 8, but it’s still a worthwhile upgrade if you’re in the need of a new phone. This also highlights the problem for Apple: iPhones have gotten so good, you rarely need a new one. Apple seems to have a solution to this problem and it ends in “X.”
iPhone X – Yup, seven ate nine
Yes, it’s pronounced “ten” not “x,” and yes, it’s $999. When the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus weren’t matching the rumors, Apple released the last trick it had up its sleeves. Marking 10 years of the iPhone, Apple says the iPhone X is the future, now. This iPhone, which was years in the making, is probably the biggest change to the iPhone since the iPhone 6 in 2014. Featuring an edge to edge screen which eliminates the iconic home button, it’s a bold move for Apple. Users now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to mimic the function of the home button. Also gone with the button is Touch ID. Formerly Apple’s default method of device unlocking, Touch ID is being replaced by the similarly named Face ID facial recognition system. Face ID is supposed to be 20 times more secure than Touch ID– and much easier to use. Now the user only has to look at the iPhone to unlock it. Apple says it should work even at night or if you put glasses on; just don’t have a twin. It can, however, tell the difference between you and a picture of you with depth sensors, so rest assured, nobody will use a family photo to get into your iPhone. Face ID seems to be a much easier way of unlocking your phone, but we’ll have to see how reliable it is when the phone is released in early November.
The biggest change with the iPhone X is that its screen is now OLED. This means blacks are deeper, colors are more vibrant, and battery is better (The pixels of an OLED screen are actually off when showing the color black). Since the screen is almost edge to edge, it puts a plus-sized iPhone screen in the body of a regular sized one. The body of the iPhone X is also glass-backed like the iPhone 8, but to differentiate between the two, the iPhone X has polished stainless steel around the edges. It can also be differentiated from the iPhone 8 by its vertical dual cameras, which Apple claims are its best yet (the second camera being for 2x zoom). Unfortunately though, the iPhone X only comes in two colors, Silver and Space Gray, which seems boring considering Apple has been releasing new colors for the iPhone almost every year. It’s also both thicker and heavier, but most people will probably enjoy the greater battery life (2 hours more than the iPhone 8).
While this iPhone finally brings a huge change to the lineup, the X has one drawback. The$999 price tag is much more than Apple customers are used to paying, and its at the top of the phone price range. It’s a big risk, since people will either see the value in the new technology, or Apple will learn it just outpriced its average customer.
Everything Else – But wait, there’s more
Apple also released a Series 3 Apple Watch, and a new Apple TV that plays 4K content. The latest watch now can be used with or without your iPhone nearby, since it features its own cellular connection (identified by its red Digital Crown button). Apple also announced the arrival of iOS 11, which was released last Tuesday with changes to the iPad and redesigns to Control Center, Notification Center, and core apps like the App Store, News and Siri.