The launch was the first glimmer of innovation in some time from Apple
Apple unveiled two new smartphones, an updated smartwatch and a whole host of other features in San Fransisco last night. Some were surprised that they didn't make any changes to their Mac range, but overall, that didn't matter. This was the first Apple event in many years to pack any sort of a punch.
For the first time in quite a while, Apple illustrated some innovation. While some may say there was nothing earth-shattering in the launch, marks have to be awarded for effort and imagination.
Let's begin with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. There was so much speculation about the features, build and look of the phone, but the company still managed to sneak in a few surprises.
iPhone 7 looks similar to its predecessor but with a few tweaks, most notably the removal of the headphone jack. Petitions were signed and forums were full of people begging the company to leave the jack as it was, but Apple took the ballsy move of taking it away. This is ballsy because we know that humans are creatures of habit - we don't like change. Sometimes, however, change is good.
The elimination of the jack port makes sense from a space point of view; there's no need to have a single-function port on a device of this size. Doubling up the lightening port for audio, as well as charging, makes glorious sense.
In the least Apple-move of all time, however, the company announced they will be placing a lightening-to-jack converter in the box of every iPhone 7 sold. This will keep the haters happy; for a while, at least.
Aside from the jack issue, the other exciting change Apple made that didn't get the attention it deserves, in my opinion, is the removal of the 16GB iPhone. Anyone who has bought a 16GB iPhone will know that it's next to useless. Almost 8GB of that 16GB is taken with iOS clutter, before the device is even turned on. Now, the smallest memory option is 32GB. There's also 128 and 256GB options too.
The other major talking point about the new devices is the camera.
It was clear from the presentation that a lot of time and effort has gone into the development of the camera on both the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus. When unveiling the camera on the iPhone 7, Apple said,
"iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. Now we’ve reengineered that beloved camera, adding optical image stabilization, an ƒ/1.8 aperture, and a six-element lens to make it even better for shooting photos and videos in low light. And with advanced new features like wide color capture, your photos and Live Photos will look even more vibrant."
The 7 has a 7MP front facing camera for those all-important selfies and video calls.
The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera that allows for better images, with greater clarity. Here's what Apple had to say about this shiny new feature:
"iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t have just one entirely new camera system — it has two. The same 12MP wide-angle camera that’s on iPhone 7 works with a 12MP telephoto camera that can get even closer. That means you can get higher-quality zoom from farther away. And with an all-new depth-of-field effect (coming soon), portrait shots will look better than ever. Say hello to the world’s best photo op."
Aside from the devices themselves, we were given insight into what else Apple has coming down the tracks. iOS 10, which was unveiled earlier this summer, will be available for download from September 13th. This will have a whole host of cool features and will allow users to remove the junk apps we rarely use.
Gaming nerds were delighted to learn that Super Mario will enter the mobile gaming world via iOS. Super Mario Runs is a new game, optimised for one-hand playing.
It was confirmed, shortly after the event, that the game will be available on Android down the line.
The bottom line here is that Apple has proved it still has fire in its belly. They are, by no means, leading the way in terms of innovation, but they are catching up to where they should be. As a fan of tech, this is encouraging to see. They are pushing the bar and attempting new things. This is why the world fell in love with Apple in the first place.
It'll be interesting to see how the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus preform during review, but I am excited about this next stage of the Apple story.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available for pre-order from this Friday and will be in stores from September 16th.