Apple Keynote – September 2017

Overview

It is one of those days where the technology looks upto to know what’s in store. I’m no exception. Was before the screen in time to catch up with this event.

To commensurate ten years of iPhone, the event was happening for the first time in the newly built ‘Steve Jobs’ theatre. Lot was expected from this event – new iPhone(s) and more.

Steve Jobs Theatre

A short video was played to show us how ‘Steve Jobs’ theatre looks. Steve Jobs favourite verses were being played in the background. Emotional Tim Cook stepped onto the stage and considered this moment to be an honour of a lifetime to welcome all to ‘Steve Jobs’ theatre.

This theatre is built on the Apple’s new ‘Spaceship’ campus. The campus is said to be powered by 100% renewable energy and has more than 9,000 trees.

Felt like stepping into it at the earliest. Had Steve been there he would have been proud of this architecture.

Retail Concept

Angela Ahrendts (SVP – Retail) was on stage to explain new retail concepts.

Apple stores to be referred as ‘Town Halls’ and will feature various activities to enrich the user experience. One such event is ‘Today at Apple’, which will conduct event for budding developers, artists and so on. Town Halls will also feature board room for developers.

The future plans of its new concept retail stores were announced – Glass cube store, 5-story atrium and it’s new flagship store in Michigan, Chicago.

Apple Watch – Series 3

Tim Cook announced the phenomenal growth of Apple Watches and played some of the inspirational videos of customers to show how satisfied they are.

Jeff Williams (COO – Apple) announced new features of WatchOS4. GymKit which could sync with your gym equipment and could give you overhaul analysis of your day.

One thing that amazed me was their new ‘Apple Heart Study’. The Apple Watch will now record resting and recovery rate, will notify you on elevated heart rate and will also detect irregular heart rate. Apple Heart Study will now be able to detect ‘arrhythmia’ which is one of the vital causes for heart attack. So now Apple Heart Study will be able to help identify irregular heart beat that would lead to cardio collapse / stroke.

The next thing that amazed me was cellular availability in Apple Watch. The cellular mode is based on an electrical sim inbuilt that will be linked to your sim in your mobile. Apple will tie-up with cellular providers to make this possible. However, am sure that it would atleast take a year or two for Apple to cover Indian telecom providers.

What else, you can now stream Apple Music and Siri can talk on your watch. With respect to design, the button on Apple Watch will be red and the thickness has increased by 0.25 mm. There are various new bands introduced.

Apple Watch will be available from $329 – without cellular and from $399 – with cellular.

Apple TV

Apple TV will now come with 4K HDR videos. Specific Sports tab to keep track of live sporting events.

Apple TV will now will be available in various countries with their localised content. Again, Indians in India must wait for years to see our localised content.

Apple TV 4K will be available for $179 (32GB) and $199 (64 GB).

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

I was disappointed, when Philip Schiller (SVP – Worldwide Marketing) was on stage and announced iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with no big changes.

The same screen size, speakers (25% better volume), 3D touch, Retina display (improved), water & dust resistance and no 3.5 mm headphone jack. One major change is a new portrait mode in camera. Now the portrait mode could help give you studio lighting to give professional output. Slow motion videos can now be recorded at 1080p @ 240fps. The cameras are custom made for augmented reality.

iPhone will now be available in 64GB and 256GB. iPhone 8 will be available from $699 and iPhone 8 Plus from $799. iOS 11 update will be available from 19th September.

iPhone X / iPhone Ten

The rumour is now a reality. “The product that will set the pace for next decade…”

Infinity display with ‘Super Retina Display’ with 5.8” screen, 2436 X 1125 pixels and 458ppi (highest in iPhones). The body is built with ‘Surgical’ grade aluminium and holds onto the screen in smooth overflowing design.

No more home button, so swipe up to goto home screen, swipe and hold to multitask, swipe across the bottom to move between apps and swipe from the top to access control centre.

Unlocking the phone is now with facial recognition, ooops!!! Sorry, I meant ‘Face ID’. Apple expressed the technical differences in its own terms. Apple captures IR image from the front camera (‘True Depth Camera System’) and process in the newly developed neural engine. Face ID will be recognised as 30,000 unique dots that marks the shape of our face. Apple guarantees that it can’t be fooled by images and 3D masks. Face ID is more secure as the possibility of error is 1 in a million, which is twice that of Fingerprint. The only problem could be for the one who has identical twin and who is evil. The demo of Face ID was a big failure at the first instance. However, he managed to do it successfully several times later.

Apple has introduced ‘Animoji’. Animoji’s are Emoji’s that is controlled by your facial movements. 50 facial muscles are used to develop live Animoji. The demo was amazing.

iPhone X has a 12MP dual vertical cameras with f /1.8 and f /2.4 apertures. iPhone X features portrait with stage lighting similar to that in iPhone 8 Plus. Portrait mode will now be available with front camera too.

iPhone X will be available in 64GB and 256GB starting from $999 and will be available for pre-order from Oct 27th and will be delivered from Nov 3rd.

Apple Power

Apple Power is mat for wireless charging that could charge multiple Apple devices at a time and will also indicate the status of each devices in your iPhone. However this is still in development mode and was just a sneak peek onto their development.

Verdict

Apple Watch had two amazing elements – Apple Heart Study is a great platform and can do wonders is medical industry and Cellular mode. However, most of the features will be unavailable in India.

There is nothing much to speak about Apple TV and iPhone 8 / 8 Plus. iPhone X was in line with the rumours (including a hefty price of $999) and was more of existing technology in Apple style.

The event to mark their ten years of iPhone wasn’t one of the greatest but for Apple Heart Study, Cellular Mode, New Portrait Mode, Animoji and Augmented Reality.

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