The rumors were the event before, but tonight Apple clarified what we can expect from them at the end of this year. The event started as tradition with a funny video that led seamlessly to the introduction of Tim Cook, but soon it was time for business. After some pounding about the newly opened Apple Stores, including in Milan, it was time for the announcements.
Apple has now sold nearly 2 billion iOS devices and only a small portion of it is Apple Watches, but the smart watch is now the world’s most sold watch, smart or not. And now there is a new variant: the series 4.
The new series 4 has a third more screen in almost the same size. The edges are rounded and the screen now runs all the way to the edge. The ‘crown’ now gives haptic feedback, so you can feel exactly how many clicks you continue when you turn it on. The speaker has also been improved. By moving him, Apple Watch is now better suited to call. The back of the watch has been adjusted to have better wireless reception on both the front and back of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch can now detect a fall because the sensors have become a lot better. You get the opportunity immediately after a fall to get help with the press of a button, but if you have not moved after one minute after the fall, the watch does it for the security itself.
Creating EKGs with your watch
The heart rate monitor can now also detect heart defects by automatically putting your heart rhythm in the background being watched. You can now take a real electro-cardiogram (EKG) with an Apple Watch. The EKG is stored as a PDF that you can easily send to your doctor or show it. At least, in the US. The feature is not yet available in Europe but Apple said they are working on getting the certification needed to take the data from the Apple Watch medically seriously.
Fortunately, all these new features have no impact on the battery life, because you can still use it for a whole day. The thinner model is available in different colors, including a new shade of gold. There is also a new Nike Sport strap with reflective thread that makes you stand out more in the evening when you are running.
The new Series 4 will cost 430 euros in the Europe for the 40 millimeter model. You get a discount on the last four millimeters of the larger model, because that only costs 30 euros extra. Because apparently no esims are supported in our country, that version (which would normally be 100 euros more expensive) is not available.
iPhone Xs and Xs Max
The new iPhones have already leaked so widely that there were few surprises to be expected. The iPhone Xs is the successor to the X of last year and is now delivered in a complete golden finish next to Space Gray and black. With new Gorilla glass and IP68 certification.
The screen is an OLED Super Retina 5.8 inch HDR 10 screen with 2.7 million pixels in it. There is also a large version, the iPhone Xs Max, of 6.5 inches with 3.3 million pixels. It is the same size phone as the 8 Plus, but with as much screen as the X has. That screen is so large that you can even split the screen horizontally and do something different on each half. The speakers have been improved and mainly intended to enjoy the sound of films, games and music in horizontal mode.
Of course, both phones have Face ID and because the technology has improved on the back it is even faster than with the iPhone X (and that goes fast). That speed comes from the A12 Bionic chip which – just like the new Huawei Kirin 980 chip – gets about 6.9 billion transistors on that one chip with a 7 nanometer production process. This effectively makes everything feel even faster and, for example, launch apps up to 30 percent faster.
AI, AR and gaming
Apple will also use that processor power to improve your experience with AI. Siri shortcuts let you hang a sequence of actions under a Siri request, so you can, for example, create your morning routine with HomeKit actions, playlists and event notifications, for example. AR also remains high on the agenda at Apple, because in addition to the handy measuring app that Apple will introduce there will be support for multiple users in the same AR environment and things like AR Quick Look where you can quickly place an object in your own environment .
Also gaming came along: The Elder Scrolls: Blades was shown and showed especially how far the graphical capacities of the iPhone have grown over the years. The game looks spectacular but did not convincingly show why it could only run on an iPhone. More interesting was Galaga AR, which had several players playing at the same time in the same arcade game. Homecourt is another AR application that allows you to keep track of how many shots you have hit with your iPhone while you are practicing with basketball. Not only does the app see how often you hit, but also under which angle you shoot, when you release the ball and how fast you shoot. That data, which is hardly visible with the human, can also help you to improve your shot.
Camera, battery and prices
The camera of a smartphone is extremely important for many people and Apple knows that too well. The improvements that are in the Xs have partly to do with the new sensor in the dual camera, but especially with the improved software at the back. Google has already shown that megapixels and apertures are of secondary importance if the software that processes your photos is better than the competition. New function Smart HDR ensures that when taking one photo, a piece or ten is actually made with different settings, so that you get the best of all worlds. You can even shoot against the sun with this system!
A nice bonus is that the camera is turned on as soon as a buffer is stored, so that your photo is taken at the moment you press the button. The oh so important Bokeh has also been further improved so that you can adjust the sharpness / depth of the photo even after shooting a photo. There is now so much in the background adapted to what you focus your lens on that video has also become a lot better, especially in dark conditions.
The battery of the iPhone Xs lasts half an hour longer than the previous version, which is nice but not earth shattering. The Xs Max lasts up to an hour and a half longer, but that was also to be expected because of the larger frame that offers more space for the battery. Dual sims are now also possible in the new phones, but only with the markets and providers that support e-sims.
The iPhone XS costs 1160 euro in the smallest (64GB) storage variant, for 256GB you pay 1330 euro and for the crazy 512 GB of local storage you pay 1560 euro. The XS Max costs 100 euros more for a comparable model. That is all in line with the iPhone X is turned off. The phones can be ordered from September 14, but when they really come to the Europe is completely unclear. We are not at the first batch of launch countries, so that would probably take some time. You also get no dongle for that price for your old-fashioned headphones, which you will now have to buy separately. Fortunately, it costs only a tenner.
One more thing … iPhone Xr
Of course, the ‘cheap’ iPhone could not stay away. The colorful iPhone Xr is available in several different colors, as the leaks already indicated. They were also completely correct, because the device is a 6.1 inch LCD screen that calls Apple Liquid Retina. In terms of size that is exactly between the other two new iPhones.
Also here you get Face ID, the A12 Bionic, the same design with the big difference that you only have one camera on the back. The software upgrades that the other devices get are included here, so you get a software sharpness / depth in photos. There is also progress in this model in terms of battery, because compared to the iPhone 8 the thing is one and a half hours longer.
The big question is: what does it cost? 860 euros, at least for the 64 GB version. For 128 GB you pay 920 euros and for 256 GB you lose 1030 euros. The device is very similar to the other two and the original iPhone X, so it is a very good alternative for people who appreciate the design of the X but do not want to spend more than 1000 euros. From 10 October ‘ie be ordered, but here too expect a fairly long waiting time, especially if we have to take the rumors about shortages seriously.
The durable Apple
Apple announced that they are currently running on 100 percent renewable energy and then there was some time spent on a summary of how much recycled material there is in the new iPhones. Apple also has the GiveBack program that allows you to return your old iPhone in any state, recovering the (current) value if someone can still use it. If that is not the case, then Apple will recycle the phone itself and it will not cost you as a consumer. Great for the planet, but especially useful for Apple if they can recycle the important components themselves and no longer have to pay for it.
No real surprises
There were some household announcements that Apple wanted to release. The HomePod and the Apple TV 4K will receive new software updates in the coming month and Mac OS Mojave will be launched on September 24th. No news about new iPads, new Macs or even the AirPods and AirPower wireless charger. All in all, no crazy presentation, not in the last place because we all knew it all.
The new iPhones are competent, but compared to all competitors who claim an ever-increasing presence in the smartphone field, Apple had very little to add this year. Whether it will damage the sales of the new devices, we hear fast enough, but the chances are that if there is a lot going to be sold, that will be copies of the iPhone XR. Maybe with some extra Apple Watches, that would be.