Apple introduces new iPhone and Apple Watch models along with new features for HomePod.
During Apple’s annual iPhone event, the technology company made several hardware announcements including new models of their flagship mobile device, the Apple iPhone. Apple will be releasing three new models – the iPhone Xr, Xs, and Xs Max – this fall along with the next generation Apple Watch dubbed Series 4.
APPLE iPHONE XS AND XS MAX
Apple today announced iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, the most advanced iPhones ever, taking the vision for the future of the smartphone to a new level. The 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max feature stunning Super Retina displays, a faster and improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, the first 7-nanometer chip in a smartphone — the A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, a beautiful new gold finish and introduce Dual SIM to iPhone.
iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max build on the all-screen design of iPhone X and feature the sharpest displays with the highest pixel density of any Apple device. Now offered in 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch sizes, these Super Retina displays with a custom OLED design support Dolby Vision and HDR10 and have iOS system-wide color management for the best color accuracy in the industry. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max offer a million-to-one contrast ratio with remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs Max delivers a more immersive experience with over 3 million pixels for videos, movies, and games, offering the largest display ever in an iPhone in a footprint similar to iPhone 8 Plus.
A surgical grade stainless steel band now in gold joins finishes in silver and space gray. Wider stereo playback creates a more immersive soundstage. The front and back glass design feature the most durable glass ever in a smartphone with improved scratch resistance, while the glass back enables faster wireless charging. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max reach a new level of splash and water resistance of IP68 for up to 2 meters for 30 minutes and protect against everyday spills including coffee, tea, and soda.
The Apple-designed A12 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone, features the first 7-nanometer chip ever in a smartphone that delivers industry-leading performance in a more power-efficient design. A12 Bionic features a six-core fusion architecture with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster, four efficiency cores that are up to 50 percent more efficient, a four-core GPU that is up to 50 percent faster, powerful Apple-designed Image Signal Processor (ISP), a video encoder and more. A fast storage controller can deliver iPhone storage up to 512GB. All of this unlocks new experiences for games, photography, video editing and graphics-intensive apps. Even with all this power, iPhone Xs offers 30 minutes longer than iPhone X, and iPhone Xs Max offers an hour and a half longer than iPhone X, between charges.
The next-generation Neural Engine is built for advanced machine learning in everything from photography to augmented reality. A new eight-core design allows it to complete up to 5 trillion operations per second compared to 600 billion in A11 Bionic. This enables new capabilities like faster plane detection for ARKit and new features that use real-time machine learning. For the first time, the Neural Engine is open to Core ML, empowering developers to build apps that utilize this highly efficient machine learning engine. Core ML running on the A12 Bionic Neural Engine is up to nine times faster than on A11 Bionic, with as little as one-tenth the energy usage.
iPhone Xs continues to bring innovations to photography, things not possible before the iPhone. Capabilities like advanced depth segmentation using the Neural Engine, Smart HDR creating photos with high dynamic range and great image detail, advanced bokeh quality in Portrait mode photos and dynamic depth of field that is user adjustable in the Photos app, are all huge improvements in state-of-the-art photographic techniques that everyone can use.
The 12-megapixel dual camera system features dual optical image stabilization with 2x optical zoom, while a new sensor is twice as fast. Smart HDR creates photos with more highlights and shadow detail. Larger and deeper pixels improve image fidelity and low-light performance.
Advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode enables more sophisticated portraits with professional-level bokeh. New Depth Control allows users to dynamically adjust the depth of field in the Photos app both in real-time preview and post-capture to create portraits with a beautiful background blur. Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.
iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max deliver the highest quality video capture in a smartphone. The larger pixels and larger, faster sensor enable improved low-light performance and video stabilization, as well as an extended dynamic range for more highlight and shadow detail in video modes up to 30 frames per second. Using the four built-in mics, users can also record stereo sound to get the most out of video recordings.
Face ID, the most secure facial authentication system ever in a smartphone, is now even faster. The TrueDepth camera system uses precision depth-sensing technology that goes far beyond the capabilities and security of two-dimensional facial scanners and enables users to unlock iPhone, use Apple Pay, gain access to secure apps and many more features with a simple glance.
iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max introduce Gigabit-class LTE for even faster download speeds and Dual SIM through the use of a nano-SIM and digital eSIM.
The iPhone XR, integrating breakthrough technologies from iPhone XS in an all-screen glass and aluminum design with the most advanced LCD in a smartphone featuring a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display and six beautiful finishes. iPhone XR brings the powerful A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, the TrueDepth camera system, Face ID and an advanced camera system that creates dramatic portraits using a single camera lens.
A stunning all-screen design pushes the display of iPhone XR to its edges. The most durable front glass ever in a smartphone is wrapped in an elegantly matched anodized band made from durable 7000 series aerospace-grade aluminum, and the glass back design enables wireless charging.
iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED. A seven-layer color process gives the glass back beautiful nuanced hues, and the aluminum band and camera trim are color matched to give a sophisticated finish. Like the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, the iPhone Xr is also splash and water resistant, with a rating of IP67.
The beautiful 6.1-inch all-screen Liquid Retina display2 is the most color accurate in the industry, with wide color support and True Tone for a more natural viewing experience. Precision-milled glass, advanced pixel masking and sub-pixel antialiasing allows the display to follow the curves of the device, while a new backlight design enables the display to stretch into the corners.
iPhone XR supports fast and fluid iPhone gestures like tap to wake, swipe up to the home screen, swipe down to access notifications and the Control Center, and the new haptic touch feature for pressing on the home screen to instantly launch the camera or flashlight.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 4
Apple Watch Series 4 has been redesigned and re-engineered to help users stay connected, be more active and manage their health in powerful new ways. While retaining the original iconic design, the fourth-generation Apple Watch has been refined, combining new hardware and software enhancements into a genuinely singular, unified form. The stunning display is over 30 percent larger and seamlessly integrates into the thinner, smaller case, while the new interface provides more information with richer detail. Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5 brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app,1 which has been granted a De Novo classification by the FDA.
Apple Watch Series 4 is more than an evolution — it represents a fundamental redesign and re-engineering of Apple Watch. It’s offered in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The speaker is 50 percent louder, optimized for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, and the microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality. The device includes the next-generation S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor, delivering twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life.
The back of Apple Watch Series 4 is composed of a gorgeous black ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to easily pass through the front and back for better cellular service. The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, offering a more mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks.
The user interface is optimized for the larger display, allowing for app icons and fonts that are bigger and easier to read, while complications have been beautifully enhanced to be more precise and informative. New watch faces take full advantage of the Series 4 display, from the endlessly customizable Infograph face to the Breathe face, where the animation is timed around a deep breath. Additionally, a suite of motion faces, including Vapor, Liquid Metal, Fire and Water reacts uniquely with the curved edges of the case.
Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. With the app, users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch intermittently analyzes heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is detected.3 It can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.
Fall detection utilizes a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur. By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with the location to emergency contacts.
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch becomes an even better fitness and workout companion. Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers, automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, and Yoga and Hiking are new dedicated workout types that accurately track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned. Running enthusiasts can take advantage of extended battery life — which is increased to six hours — for outdoor workouts and enjoy high-performance features, including cadence for indoor and outdoor runs, pace alerts for outdoor runs and rolling mile pace, which shows pace for the immediately preceding mile.
Customers can reach their friends with just a tap of the wrist with Walkie-Talkie, a watch-to-watch connection that is an entirely new way to communicate around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.4 The Siri watch face is more predictive and proactive, offering shortcuts and actionable content from favorite third-party apps. watchOS 5 also lets users listen to their favorite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch, and stream any podcast in the catalog by using Siri. With Apple Watch Series 4, enriched complications offer a more detailed view of helpful third-party apps like Dexcom, which allows for continuous glucose monitoring, or Streaks, which shows daily progress on tasks.
Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $399 (US) and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499, both featuring the updated design and new health features. Series 3 will be available at the new starting price of $279, making it even more accessible to customers. Along with the three aluminum finishes anodized in silver, gold, and space gray, Apple Watch Series 4 now comes in a striking gold stainless steel with matching Milanese band, joining the silver and space black stainless steel models. A new collection of bands debut for fall and all bands continue to work with any generation of Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Nike+ remains a customer favorite and the new collection features redesigned Nike watch faces, which match to the new band colors, including a Pure Platinum/Black Sport Band and a Summit White Sport Loop with reflective yarn. Apple Watch Hermès introduces an elegant assortment of color-blocked bands and exclusive watch faces that shift from one color to the other with the passage of the minute hand.
HOMEPOD ADDS NEW FEATURES AND SIRI LANGUAGES
HomePod, the innovative wireless speaker from Apple, is adding new features that let customers do even more with Siri on HomePod, including the ability to search by lyrics, set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls and more. HomePod delivers the highest-fidelity audio quality wherever it is placed in the home and provides unmatched stereo sound with a stereo pair that offers a wider, more immersive soundstage than traditional stereo speakers. HomePod works together with an Apple Music subscription to stream over 50 million songs directly to HomePod.
With a free software update, HomePod adds support for Spanish in the US, Spain, and Mexico, and expands support in Canada with Canadian French. On HomePod, users can also ask Siri to:
Search by lyrics: In addition to asking Siri to play a particular song, artist or genre, now it’s easy to ask Siri to “play the song that goes like this…” or ask Siri to “play the song that goes ‘I’m a rebel just for kicks now.”
- Set multiple timers: HomePod now supports multiple named timers. Set a timer for the cake, another one for lasagna and another one as a reminder to dim the lights — using just your voice.
- Make and receive phone calls: Conveniently use HomePod to make and receive phone calls for crisp and clear audio quality. To make a call, simply ask Siri to call someone from Contacts or say the number to call. Incoming calls are automatically directed from iPhone to HomePod — just ask Siri to answer the phone — and for missed calls, it’s as easy as asking, “Hey Siri, who just called?” Using the audio picker on iPhone, calls can be moved from HomePod to iPhone at any time.
- Find My iPhone: The popular Apple Watch feature comes to HomePod, so users can ping any of their nearby devices to find them.
- Siri Shortcuts: Shortcuts opens up a world of apps to work on HomePod. As Siri learns routines and suggests ‘shortcuts’ on iPhone and iPad, these same shortcuts are now accessible on HomePod. Personalizing shortcuts for HomePod with a series of tasks is easy with a new Shortcuts app. For example, “Hey Siri, good morning” could run a morning routine and order coffee from a coffee shop’s app, turn on the kitchen lights from the Home app and share the first few calendar appointments for the day — all with one simple, customizable command.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
- iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB capacity models in space gray, silver and a new gold finish starting at $999 (US) and $1,099, respectively, from apple.com, in the Apple Store app and Apple Stores, and is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). Customers will be able to pre-order iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21.
- iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED starting at $749 (US) from apple.com and Apple Stores, and is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). Customers will be able to pre-order iPhone XR beginning Friday, October 19 with availability beginning Friday, October 26.
- Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21.