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Major Takeaways from the Apple Special Event Keynote, September 2017

Apple just revealed some of the best innovations in the Apple Special Event, on September 12. Nothing could be better to start the event than a proud memory of Steve Jobs. They started with how Apple is working to revamp and build more Apple Stores. They are working on a high velocity to give a new picture to Apple Retail Stores or as they would now be called Apple "town squares".  There can also be a guided AR tour later in the year through these locations. Soon the focus shifted to the new products and we are more thrilled than ever to experience the each of them. Here is a summary of the Apple Special Event’s major announcements to give you a quick recap:

Watch Series 3:

With the new Watch Series 3, you can now enjoy connectivity on the go. It comes with LTE, meaning that you no longer need an iPhone constantly supporting your watch thus, giving Apple Watch an all new market and a distinct advantage.  This brings convenience, freedom and of course the choice of living in the movement over constantly monitoring your phone.

With dual core processor in the Watch Series 3, it will become faster, smoother and more receptive. It is also coming with a new W2 wireless chip for better WiFi performance. The watch is expected to last 18 hours with mixed usage. It seems that Apple has finally figured the battery issues which prevented it from bringing in LTE from a long time.Siri will now be able to talk on Apple Watch and it will also support Apple Music (which is big considering the emphasis Apple puts on health with their watch).

But that's not all, Apple has significantly improved over heart rate monitoring, with the help of improved sensor technologies and a new project, ‘Apple Heart Study'. Under this project, they are working closely with Stanford Medicine to monitor irregular heart rates and make people aware of any serious issues if noticed. This project is supposed to bring the capabilities in smart watches which were expected from them since they started.

Apple TV 4K:

Apple users were long waiting for 4K streaming and it looks like Apple has finally made a move. The Apple TV 4K comes with the intersection of 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. This has made the new Apple TV  the only streamer with the capability of supporting all of the three standards. The new Apple TV can result in the biggest Apple TV upgrade cycle since the company has removed the objection of not having 4K.

If you have purchased HD content on iTunes then this will get you to jump with excitement. All the “HD” content purchased on iTunes will now be upgraded to highest native resolution with NO EXTRA COSTS. The new A10X Fusion chip that powers the iPad Pro will also power the Apple TV giving it extend capabilities for more advanced applications and performance improvements.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus:

Apple has ensured a full generational upgrade over its previous iPhone 7. The materials, design, graphics, speakers, camera, CPU, ISP and charging, you name it and it will be different. With aerospace aluminum complemented with a durable glass on both front and back, Apple has made iPhone 8 stronger and lot more durable. It will be available in space grey, silver and gold finishes. As of pricing, the iPhone 8 64GB model starts at $699 and the 256GB model at $849. The iPhone 8 Plus 64GB model starts at $799, and the 256GB model is $949.

Apple also brought out a new mobile SoC.  Over the past few cycles, Apple has led in smartphone SoC performance and with the A11 Bionic chip, this momentum is likely to continue. The new A11 Bionic, Apple’s custom SoC design has enabled major silicon improvements like improved multitasking CPU performance and GPU battery life.

One downside is that the iPhone 8 does not support gigabit LTE probably making it 25-35% slower on networks compared to phones that do support it. With all 4 US carriers and 34 globally having large deployments of gigabit LTE by the end of the year, this can be a setback.

On the camera side, Apple has added ISP (image signal processor), optical image stabilization, pixel engine & a new sensor. The 5 new lighting features will likely put forth a differentiated value proposition. Apple is also claiming the “best 4K video” given color reproduction and effects. With ARKit, best in class SoC, and top notch camera, Apple is proving to be highly competent in the AR space. Apple has finally entered the wireless charging world by enabling the Qi circuitry. Since many other vendors are supporting this standard, it will be easy for users to take advantage of this feature.

iPhone X:

Apple has again proved its stupendous creativity and industry leadership with the new iPhone X (they are calling it iPhone "ten", not iPhone "ex"). Compared to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, iPhone X is an engineering marvel. It's only downside is not leveraging the fastest gigabit LTE modem available. The iPhone X is the first phone to reach the edge to edge design giving it a way ahead in providing the most immersive experience possible. iPhone X  is coming with OLED 5.8” 2436x1125 (458 PPI) Super Retina Display which will fully support Apple’s color accuracy and True Tone specifications.

Apple is the first to implement first secure mobile implementation facial login. Face ID will create a depth map of your face and use neural networks and discrete silicon to ensure a match. Since it uses a facial depth map, it cannot be tricked with a photo. The home button is missing but have no worries the new UI is much more comfortable and intuitive that you won’t miss it ever.  The iPhone X comes with gestures like swipe up to go to home, swipe up and hold to multi-task, long press side button to get to Siri and swipe down from top to get the control center.

Just like iPhone 8, iPhone X also comes with A11 BIONIC, the fastest mobile SoC available. Obviously, iPhone X will come with all the camera enhancements that empower the iPhone 8 so no compromises on that either. The camera and GPU are also designed to provide an immersive AR experience.

Another top notch innovation is Animoji. No more need to go through a large number of emojis to find the perfect one, you can select an Animoji and express with your face and it will reflect your emotion accordingly. The iPhone X also supports Qi, for wireless charging, standard many phones currently support.

Apple has also announced September 19, as the release date of iOS 11 and Watch Os 4. Additionally, Apple is comming with Apple Air Power later in 2018 which will enable seamless charging of all Apple devices in one go. This will make wireless charging an advantage in real sense. With the distinction iPhone X comes with, it is right to say that Steve Jobs Theater (first ever Apple event held here) was the right place to mark its launch. Even at the price tag of $999, this phone will sell as soon as it hits the shelves. The only drawback could be that now iPhone 8 might not the traction it would have normally earned. Overall clever work by Tim Cook on making the entire event appreciable and memorable.

Read More: Apple's ARKit vs. Google's ARCore

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