Apple's latest event is all wrapped up. As anticipated, we saw the announcement of the iPhone 7 — without a headphone jack — along with a new Apple Watch. But we also saw a few surprises, including a Mario game for iOS. Catch up with all the news and analysis here.
Sep 14, 2016
Let’s call it what it is: a fitness tracker.Read Article >
The Apple Watch Series 2 is exactly that. It’s what Apple had resisted calling its wearable for the past year and a half, even declining to categorize it as such when citing industry rankings, opting for the “smartwatch” category instead. It is, definitely, still a smartwatch. But the Watch now has focus, and that’s a good thing.
Sep 13, 2016
Inside that case, everything else about the iPhone 7 is a decisive statement about the future. The dual cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus promise to usher in a new era in mobile photography. The iconic iPhone home button is no longer a physical button, but instead a sophisticated ballet of pressure sensors and haptic vibration motors that simulate the feel of a button. The new A10 Fusion processor blends two high-power cores that rival laptop performance with two low-power cores that combine with a much larger battery to extend run time by up to two hours.Read Article >
And, yes, Apple has removed the headphone jack.
Sep 12, 2016
It’s a common fallacy, convenient to Apple, to think that the iPhone maker doesn’t care about specs. Oh, they’re too busy sticking cigarette stubs into people’s ears, those Cupertino types, to mind the nerdy feeds and speeds of their phones. The iPhone is behind the Android curve on almost every spec, and yet it remains the world’s best-selling smartphone year after year. It’s not because specs don’t matter, but because the same spec means different things in the iOS and Android ecosystems.Read Article >
Take the iPhone’s battery as the cardinal example. At IFA 2016, I watched Huawei advertise its new Nova phones by noting they have almost double the iPhone 6S’ 1,715mAh battery capacity. This is the typical asymmetry between an iPhone and its nearest Android rivals. To compete with the iPhone’s battery life — the effect of the spec — Android manufacturers have to build consistently larger batteries to offset inefficiencies. Granted, many of them have larger screens than the 4.7-inch 6S, but even the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus only has a 2,750mAh battery in an Android world where the baseline expectation is now 3,000mAh.
Sep 10, 2016
With every new iPhone comes a series of separate, smaller purchases — perhaps a phone case or a portable charger, or maybe a new adapter for your car. This year, with the iPhone 7 and its lack of headphone jack, we can expect that even the most avid of tech hardware collectors won’t have all the necessary accessories on day one.Read Article >
Sure, Apple is bundling a 3.5mm dongle and a pair of Lightning EarPods in the box, but that won’t be enough. And no one knows this better than third-party accessory makers. These are the companies that wait patiently each year to analyze and understand a problem created by a new piece of tech and set out to solve it, slapping a modest double-digit price tag on the solution when all is said and done.
Sep 9, 2016
At this week’s annual Apple iPhone intro event, the hall was packed, as usual. As always, the program featured gorgeous photos and videos, impressive charts, a few demos, surprise guests, and dramatic claims of improved product performance and capability.Read Article >
What it didn’t feature was a new design for the company’s most important product, the iPhone. There was, as I said, a new iPhone model — two of them in fact. But the iPhone 7 and its larger sibling, the iPhone 7 Plus, look nearly identical, and are exactly the same size, as their predecessors from last year and the year before.
Sep 9, 2016
The second weekend of September is nearly upon us, and tradition says we must now gather around the collective browser window to show our devotion to Apple's annual iPhone refresh. This time, we'll be saying goodbye to more than just $650: with the purchase of an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you're bidding farewell to the 3.5mm headphone jack and drawing on the courage to brace the future. Or buying into a near-term dongle nightmare — depends on how you look at it.Read Article >
While it may seem like quite a few people are sitting this round out in protest of the audio port, there's still likely very high demand for a new premiere Apple product. So if you want the phone on launch day, you should be placing an order as soon as you can. Preorders for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went live a few minutes past 3AM ET on Friday, September 9th, with shipments starting on September 16th. Both phones should be available on Apple's website and mobile store app — using the app is the easier route right now — as well as through the four major US carriers and retailers like Best Buy and Target. Those interested in the Apple Watch Series 2, which ships starting September 13th, can also place a preorder through Apple's store.
Picture this: a pair of headphones plugged into 3.5mm dongle, which is then plugged into a Lightning adapter, which is then plugged into your phone. That is the reality we live in now that Apple removed the headphone jack on the new iPhone 7. Because the new phone only has one Lightning port for all your peripheral needs, the company has tapped accessory maker Belkin to provide the adapter necessary to both charge the iPhone 7 and listen to music at the same time (so long as you're not using the new wireless AirPods). The product, called Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, costs $40 and will be released on October 10th.Read Article >
Belkin says it worked closely with Apple to develop the product, which essentially means Apple gave Belkin the license to develop it and the iPhone maker will stock it in Apple stores. The adapter only has two Lighting ports — one for charging and one for the new Lightning EarPods. So you’ll need to use the 3.5mm dongle Apple bundles for free with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to listen to standard headphones and charge. (Apple, likely anticipating the push back, is selling replacement dongles for $9.) Belkin says the adapter supports 48 kHz, 24-bit audio output, as well as remote control and mic support for Apple-made headphones.
Sep 8, 2016
If you take Apple’s word for it, removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 was a pure expression of its desire for technological progress. "Some people have asked why we would remove the analog headphone jack from the iPhone," Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, said yesterday. "It really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on to do something new that betters all of us."Read Article >
Already Apple’s defenders have been echoing that sentiment. The headphone jack is century-old technology — why not get rid of it the same way Apple killed the CD drive and Ethernet port on laptops? After all, this is just another connector that can be replaced by something wireless.
When Apple unveiled the seventh iteration of the iPhone yesterday, it made sure to play up the camera. After all, the company has a small army working on the iPhone's ability to take photos. The device's camera is also often touted as one of its most cherished features, keeping Apple's smartphone ahead of the competition. Yet in recent years, competition from Samsung and others has caught up to Apple’s imaging lead.Read Article >
The effect there has a name: bokeh. The term comes from the Japanese word "boke," which means to blur or haze, or more specifically "boke-aji." As you might guess, that second phrase means the quality of said blur, and it was popularized by Photo Technique magazine editor Mike Johnston in 1997, who suggested English speakers use the short version and pronounce it, "Boh-kay." It's a fancy photographer term used to analyze and weigh the artistic properties of blurring out the background of images and, to a greater extent, sources of light behind the subject of a photo. It's how lights at night can turn into fuzzy, grainy orbs, as seen on Apple's event invite.
Sep 8, 2016
As unhappy as I might be about Apple’s removal of the headphone jack, I have to admit that it’s not enough to spoil the appeal of the new iPhone 7. This is shaping up to be yet another excellent update to what was already, for many people, the best smartphone in the world. It just feels like the iPhone 7 itself, the essential device and the things it can do, got almost lost under the weight of all the hype and hoopla of its launch. So let me tell you why I find the new iPhone instantly appealing, with as little hype and grandeur as I can muster.Read Article >
Firstly, of Phil Schiller’s 10 points of differentiation for iPhone 7, I’m taking the last one and pulling it forward: performance. More specifically than just performance, though, my attention is on efficiency. You might think it impossible to underrate any aspect of Apple’s iPhone business, but the expertise and skill of the company’s chip designers is regularly taken for granted, whereas it shouldn’t be. The new A10 Fusion chip once again adds without taking away: more CPU, more GPU performance, greater efficiency, longer-lasting battery. The iPhone 7 devices have the longest reported battery life of any iPhone generation, which is the sort of meaningful upgrade almost everyone values. And their water resistance, something the iPhone 6S already had unofficially, has also been IP67-certified. So now there's some extra, warranty-friendly peace of mind.
Sep 7, 2016
Apple tried, and Apple failed.Read Article >
The luxury watch market isn't for everyone. Many companies have tried to enter the market, which values exclusivity and hand-craftsmanship over mass-produced devices built by robots. Apple was the latest entrant, attempting to break in two years ago with the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, which started at $10,000 and topped out at $17,000. It was essentially a luxury watch starter kit: it was gold, expensive, and Apple handed out custom versions to fashionable celebrities like Beyoncé and Karl Lagerfeld for the free promotion.
Sep 7, 2016
Deep breaths, everyone, deep breaths.Read Article >
Apple’s dismissal of the headphone jack today was arrogant, but expected. Phil Schiller smugly waved away decades of headphone development as just some analog artifact, denigrating the universality of the 3.5mm connector as some "ancient" concept. But hey, I was ready for that. I’ve spent this entire year preparing myself for Apple slicing off the classic port and replacing it with something else. Something hopefully better.
Apple announced the iPhone 7 today. It comes with a couple notable hardware changes: both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus don’t have a headphone jack, and the Plus comes with dual cameras. Wowee. Big hardware changes!Read Article >
But who cares. What we the people wanted and now have with the iPhone 7 is a jet black iPhone. Check it out:
Sep 7, 2016
Adi Robertson, Kwame Opam and 1 more
Nope, there’s no headphone jack in the iPhone 7. That’s what you’re wondering, right? It doesn’t have one.Read Article >
If you’re still reading, some interesting other features showed up at today’s Apple event. The day was dedicated to upgraded versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch, both of which feature new colors, are safer around water, and will have a surprise from Nintendo onboard. The iPhone 7 lost a headphone jack but gained new wireless “AirPod” earbuds and a second camera. The Apple Watch Series 2 is now more effective than ever at guilting you into better lifestyle choices. Everything is more powerful. And if you were looking for new MacBooks, iPads, Apple TVs, or VR headsets — we can dream, right? — then you’ll have to wait until next time. We've got the details below, along with full coverage of the iPhone and Apple Watch event right here.
Apple's latest desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, will be pushed out starting September 20th, the company announced today on its website after the annual fall iPhone event. The new version is the first to carry Apple's updated naming scheme — to better confirm with watchOS and tvOS — and marks the retirement of OS X from company's product lineup.Read Article >
The big additions this year include Siri for the Mac, improved file syncing with iCloud, a universal clipboard that lets you share copied items across Apple devices, and a picture-in-picture mode for certain apps like iTunes and Safari. There's also another neat Continuity feature that now allows your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
This morning, Apple confirmed the fears of many technology enthusiasts and headphone owners worldwide: the 3.5mm headphone jack would not be making its way to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. In its place, the company will rely on three alternatives: a Lightning-compatible pair of new included EarPods; a pair of $159 wireless Bluetooth AirPods that require no physical connection; and a free dongle to connect old, analog headphones to the device. When describing this change, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller gave a peculiar defense.Read Article >
"The reason to move on: courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us," he said onstage. Those words were uttered with a hand-waving grandiosity seemingly at odds with what some consider an anti-consumer move that may kick off a bitter standards war.
Sep 7, 2016
Apple just unveiled their new wireless AirPods, which they’re touting as the next breakthrough when it comes to listening to things on your phone. There’s one problem: you’re going to lose them.Read Article >
A pair of AirPods will cost you $159 a pair — which is surprisingly competitive — but you’re going to lose one of them. You’ll be out on a run, listening to your favorite song, and one is going to fly out. It’ll roll down a drain, or get stepped on by another runner. A squirrel will steal it and taunt you from out of reach.
Sep 7, 2016
For years now, Nintendo’s investors have badgered the video game publisher to leverage its dense catalog of characters by bringing them to smartphones. So why did the company finally bring Mario to iPhone today?Read Article >
Nintendo is bracing for arguably the least promising holiday season in its history as a video game publisher. To review: Nintendo’s current home console, the Wii U, is awaiting its last rites, while Nintendo's handheld platform, the Nintendo 3DS, is curiously absent of flashy holiday releases. The rumored Nintendo NX, a console-portable hybrid, is yet to be announced, and won’t be available until 2017.
Apple is finally phasing out the 16GB iPhone. Today, as had been rumored by The Wall Street Journal, the company revealed that its new iPhone 7 will start at 32GB of storage, double the amount included in the base model iPhone 6S and 6 before it. The base model is priced at $649. Apple has also increased the step-up options for those who want more; the iPhone 7 comes in 128GB and 256GB — a new high for iPhone storage that brings Apple's smartphone to parity with the iPad Pro.Read Article >
Beats is revamping nearly its entire lineup of high-end wireless headphones and earbuds to coincide with the announcement of Apple's new iPhone 7, AirPods, and W1 wireless chip. During today's Apple keynote, Phil Schiller announced that Beats will be releasing new Solo 3 Wireless headphones, Powerbeats 3 sport earbuds, and a new set of neckbuds known as Beats X.Read Article >
The Solo 3s will offer 40 hours of playback and can now be preordered for $299.99 in gloss black, gloss white, gold, silver, rose gold, and black; they clearly designed to match Apple's color offerings for the new iPhone 7. The Powerbeats 3 are coming this fall for $199.95, are sweat and water resistant, and offer 12-hour battery life when fully charged.
Sep 7, 2016
Apple's A9 processor for the iPhone 6S was 70 percent faster than the A8 before it, and designed to be "desktop-class performance." Apple is now introducing the A10 Fusion today, with the new iPhone 7. The new chip has four cores in total, and two cores that are high-performance cores. It's designed to be 40 percent faster than the A9 chip in the iPhone 6S, and twice as fast as the A8. Apple's Phil Shiller revealed that the new A10 fusion is 120 times faster than an original iPhone.Read Article >
While there are two cores that run at high-performance mode, the other two are designed for low-power apps to be run efficiently. Everything is automatically controlled by a new power controller. Graphics performance has also been improved, and Apple is promising "console level gaming" as a result. Inside the new A10 Fusion is a 6 core graphics chip that's 50 percent faster than A9 found in the iPhone 6S, and three times faster than the A8 in the iPhone 6. Apple claims the new A10 Fusion is "the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone."
Apple killed the headphone jack today, so your old headphones are essentially garbage now, unless you want a dongle. Great! To replace them, Apple is releasing new wireless earbuds that it's calling AirPods. Users can connect their AirPods to their Apple device by just opening up the AirPods case and tapping "connect." Here's the catch, though, the AirPods require Apple devices to be running iOS 10, watchOS 3, or macOS Sierra to work. The pair will reportedly last for five hours without needing to be put back in their charging case. That charging case can last for 25 hours.Read Article >
The AirPods rely on a new Apple chip called the W1, which handles the audio and wireless connection. Each AirPod also has dual accelerometers and optical sensors that help detect when they're in users' ears. Removing them will pause the music. The AirPods have a mic, too, so users can talk on the phone and also access Siri. The AirPods will cost $159 when they're released in late October.
Sep 7, 2016
Apple's newly announced iPhone 7 will need a separate dongle to connect headphones that use a standard 3.5mm jack. Similar to Lenovo’s Moto Z, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will ship with an adaptor in the box that plugs into the Lighting port to let you keep using your old (and now outdated) headphones, with replacement dongles costing $9. As expected, it’s a fairly simple adaptor that just allows for headphones to be plugged into the Lightning port, with no pass-through option for charging an iPhone 7 while using the dongle for music.Read Article >
While not everyone will be happy to see the headphone jack go, it’s nice to see that the iPhone 7 will ship with at least some Apple-built option to allow the new phones to continue using older headphones, even as the company is clearly pushing for Lighting and wireless headphones going forward.
The new iPhone is here, and it's pretty similar in looks to the old iPhone. But, for 2016, Apple is offering two new colors for its flagship product: black and jet black. These new finishes will join the current gold, silver, and rose gold models, replacing the muted space gray option (which was sort-of black but mostly not).Read Article >
As well as killing off the headphone jack, Apple has dropped the mechanical home button from the new iPhone 7, replacing it with a static version that's force sensitive. Instead of a button that physically moves, the new home button will use Apple's "taptic engine" to click back at users. Vibrations delivered through the home button will be used as notifications, with unique buzzes for things like text messages and calls. Third-party companies will also be able to program their own feedback through a taptic engine API.Read Article >
Here's what The Verge's Dieter Bohn had to say about the new home button after trying out the iPhone 7: