Apple "Far Out" Event Recap
Today Apple has their "Far Out" event at Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino. There were three products covered, AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPhone. Let us look at each of these starting with AirPods.
AirPods are a popular set of in-ear headphones that many people like to use. The AirPods Pro were last introduced in October of 2019 and today Apple introduced the 2nd generation AirPods Pro. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro has gained improved battery life with up to six hours of listening time on a single charge. This is up from 4.5 hours on the 1st generation AirPods Pro. The charging case also allows for up to 30 hours of total listening time. On the topic of the charging case that has seen some changes as well.
The AirPods Pro charging case can now be charged via lightning, using MagSafe, or any Qi-compatible charger, including the Apple Watch charger. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro case also includes a lanyard, so you can easily attach them to items like a bag, purse, or any other item.
AirPods Pro are still $249 and they will be available for pre-order on September 9th, and will be available starting on September 23rd. Next, let us look at the Apple Watch.
The largest part of today's event was spent on the Apple Watch. There were three new models introduced, the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and the all new Apple Watch Ultra. Let us look at all of them in turn, starting with the 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE.
Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)
The new Apple Watch SE is a redesigned Apple Watch. It still has the 40mm or 44mm size as the previous version. It now has an S8 SIP. The S8 system-in-package includes some new features like Crash Detection, which can be used to automatically contact emergency services and your emergency contacts should you get into a crash while wearing the Apple Watch SE.
There are variety of bands and styles, like the Solo Loop which comes in Sunglow, Succulent, Chalk Pink, Storm Blue, Midnight, and Starlight. There are Braided Solo Loops in Rainforest, Slate Blue, Beige, Midnight, Black Unity, Pride Edition, and (PRODUCT)RED. A Slew of Sport Bands, Sport Loops, and Nike Editions.
The Apple Watch SE also has a slightly lower price at $249 for the 40mm and $279 for the 44mm version. This is in comparison to its previous $279 price tag for the 40mm and $309 for the 44mm. The GPS + Cellular models are $299 for the 40mm, and $349 for the 44mm version. You can order the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE today in one of three colors, Midnight, Starlight, and Silver. It will begin delivering on September 16th.
Now, onto the Apple Watch Series 8.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is an improvement over the Apple Watch Series 7 in a variety of ways. It still has the same 41mm and 45mm case options. The Apple Watch Series 8 has the same S8 SIP as the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE, which means that it has the same Crash Detection feature.
There is a new "Low Power Mode" on the Apple Watch Series 8. This can increase the battery life up to 36 hours from a full charge, when an iPhone is paired with the Apple Watch. This can be toggled on and off in the Control Center on the Apple Watch. When you enable Low Power Mode it will disable auto-workout detection, the Always-On display, and heart health notifications, amongst other items. You can This feature is available on all Apple Watches from Series 4 and later with watchOS 9.
The Apple Watch Series 8 also brings a new sensor, this time it is a temperature sensor. To quote Apple's press release:
"Apple Watch Series 8 takes a unique approach to temperature sensing with a two-sensor design — one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display — reducing bias from the outside environment. Nighttime wrist temperature can be a good indicator of overall body temperature. The sensors in Apple Watch Series 8 sample the wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds and measure changes as small as 0.1° C. In the Health app, users can see nightly shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness."
The temperature sensor was designed for use for women's health, specifically this is designed to allow women to keep a record of retrospective ovulation estimates, which can be useful in family planning. Along with this temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions.
Beyond family planning, iOS 16 and watchOS 9 also add additional features for Cycle Tracking. Now users can receive notifications if their logged cycle history shows any deviations, like irregular, prolonged, or spotty periods. Thees can be symptoms of an underlying health condition, which can be discussed with a woman's physician.
As mentioned above, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes, the 41mm and 45mm versions. You can choose from an aluminum case or a stainless steel case. The aluminum case comes in Starlight, Midnight, Silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pricing for the Aluminum is $399 for the 41mm GPS, $429 for the 45mm GPS, $499 for the 41mm GPS + Cellular, and $529 for the 45mm GPS + Cellular.
The Stainless Steel colors are Silver Graphite and Gold. The Stainless Steel are GPS + Cellular models. The 41mm is $699, and the 45mm GPS model is $749.
One thing to note is that there are no longer "Nike Editions" of the Apple Watch. There are still Nike Bands, but now you can use the Nike Watch faces on any of the Apple Watches. This is a big change from previous Apple Watches.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is available to order today and will be available starting September 16th. Now, onto the Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra is a brand new model designed for extreme conditions, and its design is meant for this. The Apple Watch Ultra sports a 49mm watch face, which is 8.8% larger than the 45mm and 17% larger than the 41mm model. The screen is enclosed by the case of the Apple Watch to help protect it against damage when hit against surfaces. Beyond encasing the screen with the case of the Apple Watch, the case material is Titanium which should also help with protecting the Apple Watch Ultra.
The Apple Watch Ultra has the side button and Digital Crown, but it also includes a new Action button. The Action button can be configured to allow you to easily perform a quick action by clicking the Action button. The actions available can be customized in the Apple Watch Ultra's settings.
The Apple Watch Ultra is designed for extreme sports, like ultra marathons, diving, hiking, and more. Since it was designed to be used in a variety of environments the screen is brighter, up to 2000 nits. There is a "Night mode", which will remove any harsh lights and change the color to be a Red to make it easier for you.
Since it is possible that you will be out in extreme environments, if you do need help there is an 86-decibel alarm that you can enable that will travel up to 600 feet, or 180 meters, so others can help find you. There is a new Compass app that will allow you to mark waypoints so you can try and find your way back.
The larger screen on the Apple Watch Ultra allows for up to 36 hours of battery life while in full workout, or up to 60 hours with low power mode. This is very helpful if you do not have a charger with you, or if you are in an area where you cannot charge the Apple Watch.
There are three different watch bands designed with the Apple Watch Ultra in mind. These are Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, Ocean Band. The Alpine Loop comes in three different colors, Orange, Starlight, and Green. The Trail Loop comes in Yellow/Beige, Blue/Gray, and Black/Gray. The Ocean band comes in Yellow, White, and Midnight. There are also some bands that you find on the other Apple Watch models, like the Solo Loop, the Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, and Sport Loop. The Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean band are each $99.
The Apple Watch Ultra is available for order today for $799, and will be available beginning on September 23rd. Now, onto the iPhone
Apple introduced four new iPhone 14 models today. The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, as predicted there is no iPhone mini model. Let us look at each of the pairings, starting with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. There are two physical sizes for devices, either 6.1-inch or a 6.7-inch screen. The entire iPhone 14 line up has some commonalities. This includes some camera improvements, Crash Detection, changes to Emergency SOS, and a change to SIM cards.
SIM Card Changes
There is a big change across all of the iPhone 14 models, at least in the United States. There are no longer any physical SIM slots. All devices will now have eSim. This means that you will need to transfer your number from your physical SIM to an eSim.
All of the iPhone 14 devices have new camera sensors, which will be discussed in each section, but one of the common items is a new feature called "Action Mode". Action Mode is designed to allow you to be right in the action and still have stabilized photos and videos, without any third-party accessory, like a Gimbal stand for stabilization. This means that you can keep up with the action and have the video come out stabilized.
iPhone 14 Pro takes computational photography even further with Photonic Engine, offering a giant leap for mid- to low-light performance in photos across all cameras through a deep integration of hardware and software: up to 2x on the Main camera, up to 3x on the Ultra Wide camera, up to 2x on the Telephoto camera, and up to 2x on the TrueDepth camera. Photonic Engine enables this dramatic increase in quality by applying Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process to deliver extraordinary detail, and preserve subtle textures, provide better color, and maintain more information in a photo.
Mentioned in the Apple Watch section is the Crash Detection. The iPhone 14 line also supports Crash Detection and can contact emergency services, if you do not cancel it in within 10 seconds.
There may be times when you are outside of cellular cover and you may need some emergency services. There is a new service called "Emergency SOS via Satellite". This function will allow your iPhone 14 to connect to a satellite and contact emergency services via text message. The iPhone 14 will help you align your iPhone with the satellite to be able to connect. This feature will be free for two years when you buy an iPhone 14 device. There is no indication of how much it will cost after the first two years. This will be available starting in November.
Now, let us look at the iPhone 14 devices.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are the non-pro models of the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. The iPhone 14 Plus is a new model and matches the same 6.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a 4 nanometer A15 Bionic processor. This is a slightly improved A15 Bionic that provides even better efficiency which results in better battery life.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a total of three cameras, the front True Depth camera system, a 12MP Main Camera, and an Ultra Wide camera.The new camera has a larger ƒ/1.5 aperture and 1.9 µm pixels. This enables photo and video improvements in all lighting scenarios. The new front TrueDepth camera features an ƒ/1.9 aperture that now includes autofocus. This means that it can focus even faster than before, including with groups of people and it can make sure each one is focus.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus come in five colors, Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT(RED), and Blue. They come in storage sizes of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 14 pricing is $799 for 128GB, $899 for 256GB, and $1099 for 512GB. The iPhone 14 Plus is $100 more, so it is $899 for 128GB, $999 for 256GB, and $1199 for 512GB. You can pre-order an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus on Friday, September 9th. The iPhone 14 will begin delivering September 16th, and the iPhone 14 Plus will begin delivering on October 7th.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the same screen size as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.This chip features a new 6-core CPU with an accelerated 5-core GPU. The GPU has 50 percent more memory bandwidth, which will make graphic intensive apps and games that much better. The new 16-core Neural Engine provides up to 17 trillion operations per second, which is great with the new Photonic Engine.
There is a new camera system for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This system includes a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 1.4 µm pixels, which delivers sharper images with more detail. The telephoto lens has an improved 3x optical zoom capability. The True Depth camera on the front is just like the one on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus and comes with an ƒ/1.9 aperture that, according to Apple, enables better low-light performance for photos and video. The new camera system also allows for a new Cinematic mode, which is 4K at 24 frames per second, which is the standard for many films. This is in addition to the existing 4K at 30 frames per second. There is one last big feature with the Main camera.
The Main camera is a new 48 Megapixel sensor with quad-pixel grouping. This means that each of the pixels is groups of four, which provides more light in low-light situations. Along with this, the 48 Megapixel sensor, with quad-pixel grouping, results in the standard 12 Megapixel images, with more details, and is optimized for professional workflows. The quad-pixel sensor also allows for a new 2x zoom, which will take a 12-megapixel image with the pixels that are in the center of the sensor. This results in a full 4K image with no digital zoom.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a completely new feature for the screen, an Always-On display. The Always-On display is similar to that on the Apple Watch, in that it can reduce the refresh rate down to 1Hz. This will be fantastic when you do not need the information on the screen to refresh that often. The screen is one of the biggest uses of battery on an iPhone, so being able to reduce it down to 1Hz should allow you to improved battery life.
The TrueDepth camera location has changed slightly, to be right inline with the status bar at the top of the screen, including screen around the sensor. This new sensor area is call the "Dynamic Island". This area will dynamically change depending on usage. Things like notifications will adjust and appear out of the Dynamic Island. You can tap on a notification and interact with it. Similarly, the Face ID popup will appear around the Dynamic Island. If you have multiple items that could use attention, one of the items will be off to the right, so you can interact with it as necessary.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come in four colors, Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. They also come in four different sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The iPhone 14 costs $999 for 128GB, $1099 for 256GB, $1299 for 512GB, and $1499 for the 1TB. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is $100 more for each, meaning $1099 for 128GB, $1199 for 256GB, $1399 for 512GB, and $1599 for the 1TB model. You can pre-order iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max on Friday September 9th, with delivery starting on on September 16th.
Today's event was packed at just over 90 minutes. 40 minutes was dedicated to the Apple Watch, another 40 minutes to the iPhone, and the last 10 minutes to the AirPods Pro. The Apple Watch models are available for order today, with the AirPods Pro and iPhone 14 line of phones being available for pre-order this Friday, September 9th.