Apple held its annual “Gather Round” launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater inside the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California on Wednesday. The tech giant unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4 with the ability to monitor your heart health. Apple also unveiled three new iPhone models: the XS, XS Max, and the XR.
The iPhone XS and XS Max will both boast vivid OLED displays, while the XR will have a Liquid Retina 5.8-inch LCD screen, Apple’s most advanced LCD screen ever. The XR, which is made from aerospace grade aluminium, will be offered in various colors including black, white, red, yellow, coral, and blue. The XS Max phablet is the biggest iPhone ever with a huge 6.5-inch screen and the XS will have a 6.1-inch display.
Apple boasts that the XS models feature the most durable glass ever on a smartphone. Plus the XS is even more dust and waterproof than ever with an IP68 water-resistance rating meaning the phone can be in six feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
The XS smartphones will be offered in three color options: Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.
The iPhone XS versions will provide enhanced stereo sound and better Face ID with faster algorithms and Secure Enclave. The iPhone XS Max will have the biggest battery ever installed in an iPhone and will last an hour and a half longer than the iPhone X despite having a bigger screen.
The iPhone XS and XR feature the A12 Bionic 7 nanometer processor, a six-core chip, that has 6.9 billion transistors, a 4-core GPU, and a 6-core CPU. The A12 neural engine can complete five trillion operations per second. For comparison, the previous A11 could only conduct 600 billion.
While the specs on the XS camera are similar to the X, the new flagship iPhone will enhance photos with superior processing power. The iPhone XS will feature a dual-camera system with a 12-megapixel wide and telephoto lenses. The 7-megapixel camera is faster and has an improved portrait mode. The new sensors will provide “bigger, deeper pixels” thanks to a new technology called “Smart HDR” that will stitch several photos together into one image with the best color and quality, which sounds a lot like the Google Pixel.
With the new Bokeh effect capabilities, you’ll be able to alter the blur effect and depth control AFTER you take the photo.
The iPhone Xs will be the first iPhone with dual SIM cards, DSDS (Dual SIM Dual Standby) technology, and eSIM, perfect for international travelers.
The 64GB configuration of the XS retails for $999 and the 64GB XS Max will sell for $1,099. Pre-orders for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XS Max will start this Friday, September 14th, and will begin shipping next Friday, September 21st.
The “affordable” Apple iPhone XR features a rear 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. Instead of 3D Touch, the XR is equipped with a new screen feature called haptic touch, where you swipe you hand to get to different screens since there is no physical “Home” button. The XR battery life is 90 minutes longer than the 8 Plus.
The iPhone XR starts at $749, will be available for pre-order on October 19th and will ship on October 26th.
Apple also unveiled the new Homecourt app that is a basketball shot tracking system that acts like a trainer to improve your shot. Steve Nash showcased the AR shot tracker that captures the data and gives tips on improving your launch angle and your release. Knicks players should be required to download this app.
There was also an update to Apple’s operating system. The new iOS 12 will offer a Screen Time feature that allows users to FaceTime with a group of people, better options for managing notifications, as well as providing tools to monitor how they use their mobile devices.