Another year, another iPhone event.
Apple made a slew of announcements on Wednesday at its press event in San Francisco, hitting on everything from the future of iPhones to the future of Super Mario.
If you’re just catching up on the whirlwind of news, here’s a quick breakdown of everything that happened:
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
For the most part, the upgrades on both devices are more subtle than stark. They don’t look too different, but the processors should be faster, the battery life should be better, and the displays should be prettier.
That said, there are some notable changes in these new iPhones.
- Steve Kovach/Business Insider
In rapid-fire form:
• The Home button has been redesigned to resemble the MacBook’s Force Touch trackpad.
• New stereo speakers should allow for stronger audio.
• There’s stronger water resistance.
• The new phones will start at 32 GB of storage, rather than the usual 16 GB. (The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will now start with that as well.)
• An updated, 7-megapixel front-facing camera.
• Most significantly, the iPhone 7 Plus will feature two 12-megapixel cameras on its back. We’ve seen a similar idea on phones like the Huawei P9, but Apple says you’ll be able to get better zoom and depth-of-field effects. Business Insider’s resident camera expert Rafi Letzter broke down why this is a big deal.
The new phones will be available for preorder on September 9 and for purchase on September 16. The iPhone 7 will start at $649, while the iPhone 7 Plus will start at $769.
The death of the headphone jack.
The biggest shift was the official word that Apple has killed off the headphone jack. As with the Moto Z, any old-school wired headphones you have lying around won’t work with the new phones by default.
Regardless of how you feel about that, both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come with a special dongle that lets you use your existing wired headphones, as well as a pair of Lightning EarPods.
The one entirely new product Apple unveiled yesterday was its AirPods wireless earphones, which will cost $159 and arrive in October.
Like the Bragi Dash and Samsung Gear IconX before them, they’re truly wireless, with no cables hooking them together. They also look a lot like Apple’s existing EarPods.
While we can’t say just yet how sharp they sound, Apple says they’ll have a built-in mic, touch controls, Siri support, a simplified pairing process, and sensors that automatically detect when you’re using them then pause and play accordingly.
Much of that is helped by a new proprietary wireless chip Apple calls the W1. The company claims that will also help wireless devices like the AirPods have better battery life, though the sheer tininess of the AirPods means they’ll only last five hours at a time on a charge. They do come with a tiny charging case, though, which Apple says will get up to 24 hours of juice.
Nevertheless, the initial reaction to the AirPods has been mixed, with many thinking they’re overpriced and easy to misplace.
New wireless Beats headphones.
Along with that, Apple also took a moment to mention new wireless pairs from its subsidiary Beats. Those include the over-ear Beats Solo 3 Wireless, the exercise-focused Powerbeats 3 Wireless, and the neckband-style Beats X.
Those will cost $300, $200, and $150, respectively, and will all use Apple’s W1 chip.
The Solo 3 is available for preorder now, while the Powerbeats 3 Wireless and Beats X will be available later this fall.
The Apple Watch Series 2.
There’s a new Apple Watch, and it’s called the Apple Watch Series 2. As with the new iPhones, it’s an iterative update more than a wholesale refresh.
The look of it hasn’t changed much, but there’s an updated processor, a brighter display, stronger water resistance (but no waterproofing), a built-in GPS, and new casing options.
Apple’s pitching it as more of a health-focused device this time around, and to that end it’s launching a Nike-themed model as well.
In any case, the Series 2 will start at $369 and be available in October.
An updated Apple Watch.
Although it has been supplanted, the original Apple Watch isn’t going away entirely. Instead, it’ll be rebranded as the Apple Watch Series 1, and it will use the same dual-core processor that Apple’s using in its successor.
It’s also getting a formal price cut – from its original $350 to $269. You can preorder the new version on September 9 and buy it on September 16.
Super Mario Run.
Apple kicked off the event with a bombshell from another company: Nintendo. The gaming giant took the wraps off Super Mario Run, a game that marks the first time the beloved Italian plumber has appeared on mobile devices.
You can read more about what to expect here. It’ll arrive on iOS later this year.
Pokémon Go on the Apple Watch.
Finally – because it clearly hasn’t been played enough – Pokémon Go is coming to the Apple Watch. Niantic CEO John Hanke announced that his studio’s smash hit will arrive in smartwatch form by the end of the year.