Apple Launches New iPhone 7 With No Headphone Jack… [Tech News Digest]
In case you’ve been living under a rock, we have a brief rundown of the latest Apple event during which Apple showcased the iPhone 7, the Apple Watch 2, and Super Mario Run for iOS.
The iPhone 7 Is Actually Different
Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 7 after months of intense speculation as to what the company had up its sleeve. Some of the rumors proved to be correct, while others were way off the mark. But the iPhone 7 is a definite step into the future, with an innovative new dual camera system, a redesigned Home button, and a “courageous” decision to kill the headphone jack .
The iPhone 7 (4.7-inch) and 7 Plus (5.5-inch) are smooth, slick handsets, with the antenna bands virtually invisible. Both are water- and dust-resistant, and the Home button now relies on haptic feedback to ensure you know you’ve pressed it.
The already excellent iPhone camera has been improved in a number of ways. Both handsets now have optical image stabilization, and a larger aperture lens to improve performance in low light conditions. You can also now capture images in RAW DNG. The iPhone 7 Plus gets two 12-megapixel cameras which work in unison to create what Apple calls optical zoom.
Under the hood is a 64-bit quad-core processor, the new A10 Fusion chip, and between 32GB and 256GB of storage space (with the 16GB option having been removed from the equation). Then there’s iOS 10 , which will be available from September 13th.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available to pre-order from tomorrow (September 9th), with shipping available from September 16th. The iPhone 7 starts at $649, while the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769.
Headphone Jacks Are for Cowards
Now, you may have noticed I skipped past one crucial change Apple has made with the iPhone 7, and that’s because the removal of the headphone jack deserves a section all to itself. Apple might think it’s done the right thing here, but plenty of its customers are incensed that they’ll need an adapter to keep using their old wired headphones with the new iPhone 7.
Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller announced the change by saying, “It really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters us.” His choice of words were understandably ridiculed, as there’s nothing courageous about removing a port most people use in order to foster sales of your own products.
Apple will be more than willing to sell you a pair of AirPods for $159, even though they’ll make you look ridiculous and go missing within days. The company also has a brand new range of Beats by Dre to sell you, which is purely coincidental. But don’t worry if you elect to hold onto your own headphones, as it’s not like that adapter is unsightly or anything. Oh wait, it is.
The Apple Watch 2 Gets New Features
As well as the iPhone 7, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2, which everyone will call the Apple Watch 2, because why not. The Apple Watch 2 looks exactly the same as the original Apple Watch . But there have been changes underneath the hood which makes this the best Apple Watch to date.
The basic premise is the same… this is a notifications machine for your wrist. The face is still square but customizable, the battery should still last for 24 hours, and the digital crown still does all the heavy lifting. However, the Apple Watch 2 is water-resistant, meaning you can keep it on while swimming, and the built-in GPS should help make fitness apps more interesting .
The Apple Watch 2 boasts a dual-core processor 50% faster than the original, and a GPU doubling the graphics performance. The display is also 50% brighter, and Apple is introducing a host of new bands. The watch itself now comes in aluminium, stainless steel, and white ceramic. Sadly, the $10,000 gold Apple Watch is no more.
So, what are Apple’s big plans for the Apple Watch now that it’s faster, brighter, and more powerful? It all boils down to Pokemon GO, with Niantic announcing an Apple Watch version of the popular mobile game. If that’s enough to tempt you in, the Apple Watch Series 2 is available to preorder from tomorrow (September 9th) starting at $369.
Super Mario Comes to the iPhone
Super Mario has landed on iOS, with Nintendo releasing its first ever mobile game starring the ever-popular plumber. Nintendo has confirmed Super Mario Run will also be coming to Android in the future, but for the time being it’s only available to iPhone and iPad users.
Apple didn’t miss the opportunity to brag about Super Mario Run being a timed iOS exclusive, with Shigeru Miyamoto appearing on stage to unveil the game. Super Mario Run is free to download, with a one-time in-app purchase unlocking the full game.
Super Mario Run is an endless runner which Nintendo claims you can control with just one hand. Mario will run from left to right, with the player tapping the screen to make him jump. The aim, as always, being to collect coins and reach the end of the level.
The Real iPhone 7 Announcement…
And finally, now that you’ve seen everything Apple offered up to its fans, you should be able to appreciate a good parody. And, given the fact this was written, recorded, and uploaded to YouTube within hours of the iPhone 7 event taking place, it’s really quite magnificent.
Created by Jack Douglass, a YouTuber who has skewered Apple in the past, this takes a more cynical look at the iPhone 7. Douglass seems particularly annoyed at the loss of the headphone jack, and the ridiculous new AirPods that surely no one is actually going to buy. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What are your initial thoughts about the iPhone 7? Are you annoyed at the removal of the headphone jack? Does the Apple Watch 2 make smartwatches more likely to succeed? Are you pleased or upset to see Nintendo bringing Mario to mobile? What one word other than “courageous” would you use to describe Apple?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome. Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.