Life Tech Apple iPhone 7 launches to huge fanfare
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Apple iPhone 7 launches to huge fanfare

Apple iPhone 7 Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch event for the new iPhone 7 in San Francisco. Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty
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It’s official.

Apple’s new iPhone 7 has done away with the headphone jack – a fundamental change in design that may see as many people cheering as moaning.

Two new handsets, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, were announced today at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, which feature an updated camera.

Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2 announced at the iPhone 7 launch. Photo: Supplied/Apple

The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens camera, boasting depth-of-field capabilities, improved sharpness and wide-colour gamut – larger storage options, improved water and dust resistance, an upgraded A10 Fusion processor alongside a new wireless W1 chip, and improved Home button.

Along with the iPhone update, the company announced Apple Watch Series 2, wireless AirPods, the surprise appearance of Pikachu and Super Mario, new education tools and programs, along with tweaks to the Apple Store and Apple Music.

 iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

Yes, the 3.5mm headphone is gone, with Apple stating the move is about having the ‘courage’ to move forward.

The included earbuds now connect via the smartphone’s Lightning connector, following the direction taken by various headphone manufacturers. It’s an obvious solution that frees up space for other internal components.

In line with this move, a new wireless W1 audio chip works in conjunction with new wireless Apple AirPods, giving you audio playback and communication functions, including Siri, in one lightweight device. A Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter will allow existing headphone users to continue using their faithful ‘cans’.

For those who like to listen with friends, new stereo speakers will now pump crystal clear audio that will have your neighbours complaining.

The design of the new iPhone is a refinement of the familiar shape we’ve grown accustomed to over the last few models, with a smoother finish and less visible ‘seams’. The Home button has undergone an evolution in this process, and is now force-sensitive and provides haptic feedback.

Apple’s slick walk-through

Matching a number of competitors, iPhone is finally water and dust resistant (IP67 standard)

The one feature many people can’t live without, the 12-megapixel camera, has been upgraded with larger pixels, faster focus and processing, and can now measure light levels and adjust focus to capture photos in 25 milliseconds. Optical image stabilisation, previously only available in the iPhone 6 Plus, is now standard across all iPhone 7 models as well.

The iPhone 7 Plus model includes a dual-lens 12-megapixel camera: one telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens, capable of up to 10x zoom. This grants benefits, such as real-time depth-of-field and improved sharpness – it’s guaranteed to keep iPhonographers happy.

iPhone 7’s improved Retina HD display features a wide-colour gamut and is up to 25 per cent brighter. This will breathe new life into users who live on Instagram.

Apple’s controversial new AirPods

A new A10 Fusion chip features four cores that improve performance and graphics, and reduce battery consumption. The company says it is the ‘most powerful chip ever in a smartphone’.

For gaming fans, the improvements to processing and display have the potential to elevate gaming beyond a simple mobile experience and into the realms of consoles.

iPhone 7 is available in a high-gloss jet black finish – something not seen since iPhone 3G – and matt black. The existing gold, silver and rose gold finishes are also available.

iPhone 7 will start at $1079, and iPhone 7 Plus at $1269, with both models available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options – available from Friday 16 September.

Apple Watch Series 2

The company’s first foray into the wearables world has earned Apple the number two spot for watch sales in the world, second to Rolex.

An upgrade to the original design, Watch Series 2 includes a 50-metre water resistance rating – this is big news for watersports fans – with stat monitoring improvements to record swimming activity; calories burned, laps and more.

Apple Watch series 2
Watch Series 2 was announced at the launch by Apple CEO Jeff Williams. Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty

An updated processor and graphics chip will bring improvements to overall function and app capabilities, with a second-generation display offering twice the brightness of the first series Watch, plus a new polished white ceramic body.

GPS has finally made it to Watch (cue: trumpets), bringing with it many features that have left potential buyers on the fence. Runners and cyclists take note.

New special editions from Hermès and Nike will satisfy fashionistas and health nuts respectively, available in a variety of colours and finishes.

The new operating system, watchOS, 3 improves app access, including a new app dock, and enhances messaging, health and social features.

With third-party app developers now able to access hardware features, like the heart rate monitor, more powerful and comprehensive fitness apps are on the horizon.

 Pokemon Go

A dedicated Pokémon Go app is also on the way… which is the news we were really waiting for!

Apple Watch Series 2 will start at $529 and is available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel. Apple Watch Series 1 will now start at $399 and is available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium. New models will be available from Friday 16 September.

 Apple Music

The company’s streaming music service, Apple Music, now has over 17 million subscribers since launch accessing over 30 million songs.

For You, a new section that offers a tailored approach to music discovery offers an improved overall experience.

 App Store

With over 144 billion app downloads and more than twice the revenue of any other digital store, Apples digital juggernaut marches forward.

Super Mario Shigeru Miyamoto
Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto announcing Mario Run at the Apple iPhone 7 launch. Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty

The biggest news for App Store came when Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage to introduce once of Nintendo’s most loved game characters, Mario.

The new Super Mario Run game has been designed to allow one-handed play – perfect for your morning train to work – and features a new battle mode to play with users from around the world.

iWork

Apple’s document creation suite iWork (Pages, Keynote and Numbers) moves into the cloud, and now features real-time collaboration to allow teams to work on the same document at the same time.

The new iWork will be available across all Apple devices.

The launch generated huge world–wide excitement:

Others were not so impressed:

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