September is here - which means its Apple season. Every year, the worlds most valuable company uses the start of fall to unveil its latest and greatest products to the public.
We had a chance to check out all the announcements in person at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's sprawling Cupertino, California HQ. Here are the four biggest announcements from the event.
Taking iPhones to the Max
The main focus of the yearly event the iPhone. Apple didn't disappoint, unveiling the brand new iPhone XS and XS Max. The XS is a straightforward update of last year's iPhone X, with a 5.8" OLED display. The XS Max has the largest screen of any iPhone yet, boasting a massive 6.5" OLED display. Both phones will feature:
- 3 colors: Gold, Silver, and Space Grey
- 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB storage options
- IP68 waterproofing allows for up to 2 meters of submersion for 30 minutes
- Improved stereo sound
- Faster Face ID to unlock the phone
- Super-powered A12 Bionic chip, which the company claims is the most advanced chip the tech industry has ever seen
- Up to 512 GB of storage
- 30 percent faster app launching
- Siri shortcuts to hack your productivity
- Back Cameras: Dual 12 MP wide camera, 12 MP telephoto cam, and a newly improved flash
- Front Camera - 7MP, with improved depth sensors for selfies
- A new photo editing feature allows you to adjust the depth of field, a first for smartphones
- Improved 4K video camera
- Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS), so you can have 2 phone numbers, different plans on one phone, or just traveling with a data plan
Apple says the XS will have a battery that can last 30 minutes longer than last year's X, while the XS Max boasts the biggest iPhone battery every, clocking in at an hour and a half longer than the X.
The new iPhones aren't cheap. The XS and XS Max will start at $999 and $1,099, respectively. Both iPhones will be available for pre-order on September 15 and will launch on September 21.
A Little More iPhone
Apple also showed off the new iPhone XR, a slightly scaled-down handset that aims to give thriftier people a new smartphone option. The XR has the same design as the XS and XS Max in a smaller package and less deluxe materials. Most notably, the 6.1" screen is different; the XR uses LCD - the material Apple used for every iPhone up until the X - which is less bright than the OLED displays of the X, XS, and XS Max. The XR features:
- Six color options: white, black, blue, coral, yellow, red
- 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB storage options
- IP67 waterproofing
- 6.1" Liquid Retina LCD display, which is bigger than iPhone 8 Plus
- Single lens rear 12MP camera, which still features portrait mode
- Same TrueDepth front facing camera as the XS and XS Max
- Battery life will last an hour and a half more than the 8 Plus
The XR will be available starting at $749 for pre-order on October 19. The phone launches on October 26.
iOS 12, the latest software for all iOS devices, will launch September 17.
Apple Watch Gets a New Design
The new Apple Watch Series 4 is redesigned from last year's version, which introduced cellular service to the device for the first time. Now, the focus is on the sleek new look and advanced health tech features.
The Series 4 has:
- A new edge-to-edge screen with rounded corners
- 30 percent larger screen area than the previous iteration
- 40mm and 44mm cases (up from 38mm and 42mm sizes)
- Available in Silver, Gold and Space Grey aluminum finish, or Gold, Silver, and Space Black Stainless Steel finish
- 18 hour all day battery life, with outdoor workout time for 6 hours
- Digital crown with haptic feedback and slim red ring
- 50 percent louder speaker
- New S4 chip that's up to two times faster than the Series 3
- New types of workout tracking and better run tracking
- New accelerometer and gyroscope package is up to 8 times faster
- Automatic fall detection, which delivers an alert to initiate an emergency call. If you're immobile for more than a minute, the Watch uses the SOS feature to call for you.
Wear Your Heart Health on Your Wrist
The real story with the Apple Watch Series 4 is what the device's sensors can tell you about your heart health.
The newly improved optical heart rate sensor has three new features: notifications for low heart rate, a stream of your heart rhythm, and the ability to detect AFib, a leading cause of strokes and other serious heart conditions.
Most importantly, the Watch has a brand new Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which are typically used to help diagnose heart diseases in a clinical setting. It's the first over the counter ECG product on the market - just put your finger on the digital crown and 30 seconds later, you have an ECG reading. This could make the Apple Watch invaluable for patients and their doctors, a point that was underscored with President of the American Heart Association Ivor Benjamin, MD showed up onstage to support of the new tech. The sensor has already been cleared by the FDA, with the capability launching to US customers "later this year."
Some things with the Watch won't change, however. All Apple Watch bands will still fit the Series 4. Watch OS5, which will be available on older devices as well, launches September 17.
The new GPS-enabled Series 4 for will cost $399, with Cellular versions starting at $499. Series 4 will be available for pre-order on September 14 and launches on September 21.