At Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage for the company's annual fall update, and unveiled new products and hardware updates. If you weren't able to watch it live, here are the highlights:
1. iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the next iterations of the current iPhone, replacing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Notable improvements for these new models are the additions of a quad-core A10 Fusion processor, reengineered Home button with Force Touch, water and dust resistance casing, stereo speakers and a significantly improved battery efficiency. One item that was missing in action: the headphone port.
Did You Know?
|When you take a picture on the new iPhone 7, the phone performs 100 billion operations within 25 milliseconds — all of which optimize the picture, lighting and much more.|
Both models are the first iPhones without that standard headphone port, which means customers must use either wireless headphones, lightning-port headphones or standard headphones through a bundled adapter.
And the iPhone 7 Plus includes Apple’s first double camera, which allows for 2x optic zoom and intelligent depth-of-field effects. Both models will be available for preorder on Sept. 9, and will be released on Sept. 16.
2. Apple Watch Series 2
After 18 months on the market, Apple has made a refresh to its first wearable: the Apple Watch (the No. 2 watch seller worldwide, second only to Rolex). The next iteration, called the Apple Watch Series 2, includes a dual-core processor, native GPS, improved battery life and 50-meter splash resistance designed with swimmers in mind. It will be available for preorder on Sept. 9 and will be released on Sept. 16.
3. Wireless Accessories
With the loss of the headphone port on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple is betting on a future of wireless accessories. And the first accessory out of the gate is Apple AirPods, a set of wireless earbuds that fit in an intelligent case, which doubles as a charger.
Apple Stats At-a-Glance
// 1,000,000,000 iPhones sold to-date|
// 140 Billion total app store downloads
// 17 Million Apple Music subscribers
Using the AirPods, you can stream music, take calls and query Siri for driving directions — all without ever using your iPhone.
Over the next couple of years, we can expect to see many more analog phone components begin to make the jump to wireless.
4. HomeKit Updates
Apple’s Home automation system HomeKit also received a mention during the event. Although HomeKit was previously announced alongside iOS 9, it has suffered low usage due to its limited device support.
But HomeKit may see a new beginning, as Cook announced more than 100 HomeKit-enabled products that are coming to market this year from almost every major smart-appliance manufacturer. In the not-so-distant future, you just might be able to use Siri to brew your morning pot of coffee.
Key Fall Software Release Dates
5. ConnectED Update
Sept. 13 // iOS 10 for iPhone|
Sept. 13 // WatchOS 3 for Apple Watch
Sept. 20 // MacOS Sierra for Mac desktops, laptops
Apple has also doubled down on improving education.
As part of its ConnectED participation, Apple announced that 114 previously selected schools will be up and running this fall with Apple’s latest technology. Apple will place an Apple TV in every class, and will provide 4,500 iPads to teachers and 50,000 iPads to students.
Cook also announced Apple’s desire to provide “everyone an opportunity to code” by using the Swift Playgrounds app, announced with iOS 10, as a form of curriculum in more than 100 schools.
The Bottom Line
Apple’s fall announcements show a company still committed to innovation and trendsetting, and as its new offerings roll out over the next month, we will see how Apple’s bets have paid off.