Unless you were hiding in a cave last night, it would have been difficult not to hear, see or read about Apple’s new keynote. Typically I have around 200 tweets from 6pm to 8pm. During Apple’s Keynote I lost count once I reached 900. My RSS feeds exploded too. No other company can generate this level of frenzy!
As Apple Keynotes go, I really enjoyed this one right from the very beginning too with Tim Cook and James Corden Carpool Karaoke intro. Lots of new products this time. An updated Apple Watch, 2 new iPhones, new headphones and accessories and tons of new features on all the technology. Apple also doubled the storage on iPad Pro and Mini and reduced the price on the iPad Pro. 16gb storage options were removed also from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 models with a new 256gb option.
To be honest, before any new tech was announced, the fact Nintendo were bringing Super Mario Run to iOS for a fix price with no IAP’s to ruin gameplay was a winning reason alone to buy the new iPhone 7.
If you buy the iPhone 7 outright it will costs from £599 for the 32gb iPhone 7 right up to £919 for the 256gb iPhone 7 Plus. Add £49 for an official Apple leather case and £149 for the new wireless Airpods and the new iPhone is not cheap.
So what stood out for me in terms of the new features. Well the water and dust resistance was a welcome improvement (IP67) along with heavily beefed up cameras. I am keen to see how the dual camera setup on the Plus version performs in real life, with its wide angle and 2 x optical telephone zoom, which then goes up to 10 x zoom using software. There definitely seems to be a big step forward in the cameras in the new iPhone 7. Again these need to be tested.
Some call it controversial that the 3.5mm headphone jack has now disappeared. Personally, I don’t see what the fuss is about. I have used the lightning port for audio for ages now. Apple also provide a lightning to headphone adaptor in the box, with additional adaptors available for £9 each. In the box you also get wired headphones terminated with a lightning connector.
The next step in wireless audio was taken by Apple to create their own bluetooth connection using their new W1 chip which features in the new £159 Airpods and new Beats range of headphones. I can’t wait to test these new headphones. The Apple Airpods look damn cool too. Will they sound better than headphones from B & O or Sennheiser? No idea yet but I will test them accordingly.
Stereo speakers makes an appearance now, a higher quality screen, new colours, new storage options, better A10 Fusion processor and much more. The new non moving home button sounds interesting. Feedback is obtained via taptic feedback.
Part of the lineup comes a gloss jet black finish. Personally, I would opt for matt black, as Apple have mentioned that the gloss black can show micro scratches if you are not too careful.
The Apple Watch 2 has a brighter display, better processor, faster operation, GPS and is swim proof. New strap options and a £1,249 ceramic finish is available too.The 42mm Apple Watch 2 starts at £399 and rises to £649 for the steel finish with the milanese loop and goes right up to £1,249 for the ceramic option. Apple will continue selling the first version and will include the new processor found in the Apple Watch 2. Finally, Apple have a focus for the Apple Watch, and its fitness. They even have a special Nike+ version. Having used many wearables and smart watches, fitness is IMO the right focus too.
With iOS 10 and Watch OS3 all the new hardware looks great, just in somewhat pricey and judging by a number of comments on social media, this seems to be the root cause of any snarky comments. However, Apple has some of the best and diverse range of apps, and this could create some incredible options for its new camera system.
So the million dollar question is which phone do you buy – A Samsung Note 7, Apple iPhone 7 (Plus), LG V20 or something else like the dual lens Honor 8 which comes in at £369.