The iPhone 7 was announced just few moments ago and this is a breakdown of what happened at the keynote for those who missed it. This would be a breakdown for the ශ්රී Lankans! Since many of the fancy features announced don’t work well with ශ්රී Lankans, so heads up!
Sun's coming up in San Francisco and we are ready for a big day! pic.twitter.com/PgLZN7ZcrQ
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 7, 2016
The theme of the keynote was the camera, Apple teased us again with their invitation and the tagline was “See you on the 7th”, the “See you” part and the Apple logo with the bokeh effect (that is the small circles which is a feature available for DSLR cameras), the camera update was significant. Also “water” is a keyword of the keynote.
Okay let’s get to keynote, the iPhone.
The keynote started with everyone wondering if this time about, it will be Apple Car! No actually it was how Tim Cook came to the keynote! Also to get a few stats about the company, Google is your friend.
Side note – First Pokemon GO, now Super Mario is coming to the iPhone! (90’s kids reunite!)
Moving on to the important things, the new iPhone was announced and care to guess the name of it? Well the iPhone 7! The bigger sibling, the iPhone 7 Plus was also announced. Let’s start with the new features of the iPhone 7 (if you are a diehard Apple fan, some of these may seem like news from yesterday), but before we get into detail, here is a photo to drool over (you may lick the screen, and don’t worry iPhone 7 won’t explode!)
Now the details of the “the best iPhone we’ve ever created” according to Tim Cook,
1. It is all about the music! But no more headphone jack!
This is the usual style of Apple, if they think something isn’t working, they just remove it. Simple as that! Look at the MacBook, it has only one (ONE!) port for charging, copying and all sorts of things, now iPhone is in the same boat. Gone were days you could charge your iPhone and listen to some music. Well, Apple does invent and the EarPods are quite an improvement compared to the ones that existed a decade ago, but will it suitSri Lanka? The first thing a Sri Lankan should do is get a decent pair of headphones because EarPods, isn’t for Sri Lanka. Try listening to some music in the bus and compared to those mini woofers on the bus, EarPods shiver in fear. Also iPhone users know that the lifespan of a data cable is that of a biscuit packet. Imagine the situation.
Also, dual speakers! The earpiece is also now a speaker, the speakers are loud! Apple has included an adapter(SERIOUSLY?) to convert the lightning port to a 3.5mm headphone jack but recommends us to use wireless. That means more battery charging to do! However Apple ditched the over a century old headphone jack because they had the “courage” to move on to better things and there is an amount of how many hardware things can be fitted into the thin iPhone according to Phil Schiller.
Enter AirPods, the new wireless earphones from Apple. They are small!! I wonder if they will survive if you run across the store. They seamlessly connect with the Apple devices to provide 5 hours of listening, and 24 hours of charging with the charging case. They use multiple sensors in order to capture the voice from the Mic seamlessly by monitoring the vibrations the mouth makes and the sounds. Also some magic (bluetooth) to make the pairing easy when you move the case closer to the Apple device, and they cost $159 (for sure above Rs. 20,000 in Sri Lanka)
2. The same old design from the 6, but minor tweaks
Something that ruined the back of the iPhone was the two antenna lines, but now it has been shifted to make it less visible to get a clear metal back. Also apart from the main 4 colors (Black
Space Grey , Silver, Gold and Rose Gold), a new addition was made, Jet Black (this is a darker shade of grey).
Jet Black, the fine print.
Something Apple didn’t mention at the keynote was that it is prone to scratches (Source Read #2 at the Bottom), and also the Jet Black version doesn’t start at the base 32GB model so it’ll be more expensive. So get ready to sell one of your kidneys!
3. Water and Dust Resistant
Did you know that the iPhone 6s is somewhat water resistant? Apple didn’t publicize it but several tests have revealed that it is actually somewhat resistant, and now the iPhone 7 is fully water and dust resistant! IP 67 Standard Certified, so no need to worry if you spill a bit of water on the iPhone (also tears).
4. The camera
The star of the show! Good news and bad news, good news is that Apple has improved the camera (it was already good, they’ve made it better), the bad news is that iPhone 7 Plus gets a dual camera, while the iPhone 7 is left. But both get optical image stabilization (FINALLY!). Also the sensor and the flash(Quad-LED True Tone flash) are improved (you can be sure to blind your friends when you take a photo with flash with the iPhone 7). iPhone 7 has f/1.8 Aperture and Six-element lens however the iPhone 7 Plus has dual lenses! The iPhone 7 Plus uses the dual lens to optically zoom upto twice. However the zoom after 2x would be software, but its better! The iPhone 7 has a new feature called ISP, which uses machine learning (aka artificial intelligence) to do some tweaking within 25 milliseconds (100 billion calculations). Also the front camera gets a bump with 7MP and low light improvements. Also Apple gave a challenge to their engineering team to implement bokeh (shallow depth of field) to the iPhone 7 Plus camera, this was done with the help of the new dual camera system, the “portrait” mode in the camera. Are we slowly going towards a day and age when we replace DSLR with smart phones?
5. Home Button
ශ්රී Lankans have the habit of enabling the assistive touch to minimize the use of Home Button, now Apple has improved it with tighter integration with iOS to provide haptic feedback when used. Also they’ve ditched the mechanical button, so this means no need to use assistive touch!
6. The Display – Retina HD
It’s brighter than the 6s (25%) and has more color improvements. No its not OLED but it’s better than the 6s in terms of color reproduction as it uses a cinema standard wide color gamut.
7. Apple Pay
This is still a dream for ශ්රී Lanka, but Apple has partnered with Felica to launch in Japan.
8. Performance (A10 Fusion)
Long story short, Apple has added some more silicon to make the iPhone 7 faster than the iPhone 6s! It does so by allocating the tasks to the correct processor which needs more processing power and thus saving energy. The gameplay demo on the iPhone 7 was stunning as the graphics was close to console level graphics. Also it supports speeds up to 450Mbps LTE, however well for ශ්රී Lanka?
Best news for us all
Battery life gets a bump (“longest battery life ever on an iPhone”) and the base model starts at 32GB memory (thank you Apple!). Also this storage update is for all the devices that Apple is currently selling, that means even the base model of the 6s would be 32GB!
Also iOS 10 would be coming on September 13th for the supported devices and it will of course be free! All the models above iPhone 5, iPad Mini 2, iPad Pro and 4th Generation iPad is getting the update.
The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be launched in US on the 17th of September, wait for the public release in Sri Lanka by the authorized resellers, initial launch prize would roughly be over Rs. 120,000 for the iPhone 7 and for the iPhone 7 Plus Rs. 130,000.
Should you buy it?
Well if you have the money to afford it, go ahead! However if you are an iPhone 6s user, there isn’t much that “exciting” to upgrade. The iPhone 7 has got many upgrades but nothing ground breaking to run and upgrade! So if you are phone is working fine, let it be. However older iPhone users such as 5, would notice a significant difference if you do upgrade.