Apple Introduces New iPhones, Software

Today was the day many Apple fans were waiting for, as CEO Tim Cook took to the stage in the new Steve Jobs Theater to introduce the next generation of the iPhone and Apple Watch families. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X are the latest new phones, and they both pack a lot of technical punch.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8The iPhone 8 is the less costly of the two phone at a starting price of $799, but it still takes a big leap above the iPhone 7 when looking at the spec sheet. Its new A11 Bionic chip includes a six-core processor, a three-core graphics processing unit, and improved management processes to provide around two more hours from your battery.

The camera has of course been beefed up as well. The iPhone 8’s 12-megapixel camera now has a new color filter, a faster image sensor, and optical image stabilization. There are also new lighting filters that provide studio-style lighting effects on any image. The bigger iPhone 8 Plus has two rear cameras just like the iPhone 7 Plus and offers a new portrait mode with more effects and modes than before.

The design of this new phone isn’t too much of a departure from the iPhone 7, except for the fact that the back of the phone is now made of glass to allow for wireless charging – something iPhone fans have been wanting since the feature began popping up on Android devices a couple of years ago.

iPhone X

iPhone XThe rumor mill in the months before today’s presentation were churning out concept photos of an iPhone with a bezel-free display, no home button, and facial recognition. Well, the rumor folks weren’t too far off! The iPhone X is the new top-of-the-line device released to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone’s release in 2007.

The X has a new “Super Retina” OLED display that goes all the way to the edges of the phone, and there is no longer a mechanical home button or fingerprint sensor. How do you unlock your phone, you may ask? Touch ID has been replaced by an advanced facial recognition system called Face ID. It uses the front cameras, light sensor and a dot projector to detect your face and unlock your phone. Face ID will even adapt to changes in your appearance. This new security feature will also be the new way to use Apple Pay and other Touch/Face ID-enabled applications. Navigation on the iPhone X, of course, had to change with the removal of the home button. Now, you can navigate your home screens and between apps with simple swipes.

The new advanced front-facing camera has enabled one of the more fun features revealed during the event. Animoji is a new type of emoji for iMessage that detects your facial movements and places them on emoji. Now you can send messages to your friends as a talking cat, puppy, unicorn, or even – yes – the poo emoji. The iPhone X also includes all of the new processing and camera power in the iPhone 8.

Watch & Software Updates

Apple Watch HermesNot to be left out, the Apple Watch has added new features as well. Apple Watch Series 3 is the same size as the previous watches, but now has an option to include cellular data services. Don’t want to carry your phone during your jog? No worries! Your watch can still send messages, make phone calls, and even stream music to your Apple AirPods without being anywhere near your phone. The new watch also includes improved heart rate monitoring and health-based apps. Existing Apple Watches will also get a software update as well when watchOS 4 is released. iOS 11 is also slated to be released when the new phones hit the market.

Want More Info?

You can always check out the details on all of these new products at Apple’s website as well as see pricing and possible discounts on our Apple Education Store. The iPhone 8 is slated to release on September 22, with the iPhone X available November 3. Also, here’s a recording of the proceedings.

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Zach Peterson

Zach is a Senior IT Training & Communications Consultant with OIT. Zach began his SMU career at the IT Help Desk in 2012 and joined the Training & Communications Team in 2015. He is a 2011 graduate from the University of North Texas and obtained a Master of Liberal Studies degree from SMU in 2018. He enjoys reading and collecting vintage and antique radio sets. He grew up in Valley View, Texas near Denton.