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Apple Event 2017: The Good, The Bad & The Animoji

Joe Benton

Here is our roundup of Apple’s new announcements from last night’s Apple event held at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in Apple Park. The big headliner this year is the tenth anniversary for the iPhone, iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10). The iPhone X changes familiar aspects of the iPhone and brings some new and exciting features and there is an updated iPhone 8 and small upgrades to the Apple TV and Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

Apple has updated the Watch to Series 3 with the same familiar look and feel we have seen before. All the current editions of the Apple Watch have been tied to the iPhone for connectivity, however with the new watch this is no longer the case. Apple has managed to squeeze in an electronic sim card which enables it to use mobile data without being connected to a phone. You can now leave your phone at home and still receive notifications and messages on your wrist or even stream music while you are out on your run. The watch is twice as fast as previous versions and also has an altimeter to track heights on your workouts.

iPhone 8

This year Apple is skipping the S edition and going straight to the iPhone 8. The main visible change is that the front and back is now made from toughened glass top to bottom with an ‘aerospace-grade’ aluminum frame inside. Other than that it still looks the same as the iPhone 7 and comes in both a 4.7 and 5.5 inch screen size. It is now powered by a faster A11 Bionic chip, the back camera has been improved to 12MP and it has a brighter Retina HD screen. The only stand out difference between the phones is that the iPhone 8 now supports wireless charging – although that will cost you extra!

iPhone X

The biggest announcement of the event (although leaked a few days before) is the new iPhone X celebrating the tenth anniversary. It is their highest spec iPhone yet, with a 5.8 inch OLED ‘super retina’ screen.

The most impressive highlight is that the screen no longer has a bezel and instead stretches to the edge of the device, following the curved corners of the phone. This change removed the staple home button providing more room for content, but means there is now a new way to navigate and unlock your phone. Using a mixture of gestures replaces the functionality of returning to the home screen and switching between apps.

As the home button is removed this also means that Touch ID is now a thing of the past, with a new feature called Face ID. Instead of using your fingerprint the phone emits thousands of tiny infrared dots that build up a mesh of your face to verify it is you. Apple claims it is more secure than Touch ID and only has a 1 in a million fail rate.

Face ID can also be used to authenticate Apple Pay purchases and to unlock apps that previously used Touch ID. It will be interesting to see some more hands-on examples of this in action as we are unsure how fast and accurate it is.

Apple has also made a new app in Messages that allows you to send an animated emoji based on your face expressions and movement, coined Animoji.

All in all it was a pretty impressive event and it will be interesting to see how people adapt to using an iPhone without a home button in the coming months. We’re also looking forward to getting our hands on the new iPhone X when it is released in November and trying out our designs on iOS 11 next week.