Apple officially launched new devices at a keynote today, including the iPhone 11, new iPad, Apple Watch Series 5, plus Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.
The slew of new devices improve upon their predecessors in some key areas, while also looking to make them more accessible. A trio of new iPhones headlined the event, punctuated by a new entry-level iPad and an upgraded Apple Watch. Apple also revealed details for its TV+ and Arcade services that are set to go live soon.
The new iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 is a direct successor to the iPhone XR, sporting a familiar design and feature set. The most obvious difference off the bat is the second rear camera lens, which is an ultra-wide angle with a 120-degree field of view. Like the existing standard lens, it also has a 12-megapixel image sensor. You will now also be able to shoot video when in photo mode by just holding down on the shutter button. You also get an improved FaceID camera at the front.
The phone has the same 6.1-inch (1792 x 828) Liquid Retina LCD display as the XR, though Apple says this phone is made of tougher glass. It also has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, meaning it can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes in two metres of water.
New speaker technology called “spatial audio” is supposed to make sound clearer and louder during audio and video playback. Battery life should be about an hour longer than the XR. The phone will also come in the same colours (white, yellow, blue and black), along with the new green and purple variants.
The new iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
These two phones ultimately replace the iPhone XS and XS Max. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max carry the same dimensions, in terms of form factor, but with a few unique changes. The biggest one is the new third ultra-wide lens in the rear to complement the regular wide and telephoto ones, all of which are at 12-megapixels.
A new feature called Deep Fusion will use machine learning to take nine exposures at once to produce a final photo. It’s basically a night mode under a different name, but it won’t be ready to use until later this fall. Apple said it also made the front-facing FaceID camera faster and better at viewing angles.
Both the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max use updated Super Retina XDR OLED displays, with 485 pixels per inch and 1200 nits peak brightness. The body will have “surgical-grade” stainless steel with a machined glass panel that will have better grip through a matte textured coating.
The new A13 Bionic processor promises better battery life, improved machine learning, support for Wi-Fi 6, and will come with an 18-watt fast charger in the box. Confirmed colours are midnight green, space grey, silver and gold with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options.
The newest iPad
There’s a new entry-level iPad to consider. The latest model sports a 10.2-inch LCD display (2160 x 1620) with the same home button and Touch ID feature set of prior iPads. It runs on the A10 chipset, which is the lowest one Apple still uses for iPads. It also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and includes the magnetic connector at the bottom to attach a smart keyboard to turn it into a productivity device.
Apple claims the tablet can manage around 10 hours of battery life, on average, but it’s unclear what that number will be with mixed usage. It’s also nice that this is the first iPad made from 100 per cent of recycled aluminum. It will come with either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage.
Apple Watch Series 5
The new Series 5 is a slight upgrade from the previous version, with the most immediate change being the always-on display. Despite that, Apple says it will get the same 18-hour battery life as the Series 4. The company also squeezed in a compass, which now makes it easier to know which direction you’re looking at. No matter where you go, you will also get information on longitude, latitude elevation and incline.
Aside from the new international emergency calling on the cellular version of the Series 5, the new watch will run the latest watchOS 6. That brings in more watch faces and some additional features and updates.
The new watch is also made of recycled aluminum, along with stainless steel and ceramic models, plus two titanium colour variants.
Apple TV+ and Arcade
Apple previously revealed its TV+ streaming service a few months ago, only now it has a launch date and price. It starts streaming on the TV app on November 1, and will start off with about nine shows. More will come each month, though it’s not clear how many and for how long.
The $5.99 monthly subscription is a family plan that supports up to six users. If you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV or iPod Touch, you get the first year free of charge. Just note that you have to activate the subscription within the first three months to actually qualify. If you want to sample it, you can try the 7-day trial first.
As for Apple Arcade, the streaming gaming service goes live on September 19 and will come with over 100 games to start. The $5.99 monthly subscription covers up to six family members, and works on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TV. There is a one-month trial period to test it first.
Not all of the games will be available to play on the first day. Some will, while others will launch later on. Frogger, Sayonara Wild Hearts and Shinsekai were three demoed at the keynote, and noted game developers and publishers, like Konami and Capcom are already on board.
Pre-orders for the newest iPhones begin on September 13. The new iPad will be available on September 30, while the Apple Watch Series 5 will come on September 20.
I’m really interested to see what comes of Apple TV+. It’s probably not worth it if Apple only has proprietary content, but if they expand by bringing in other shows it might become a decent product.
I’m also interested in trying out the Apple Arcade, but with all the other game services out there I’m not sure I’d get the use out of it that would make the purchase worth it.
Thanks for keeping me informed!
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