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What You Missed At The Latest Apple KeyNote

Posted by Andrea Baker on

Apple is reframing the future of mobile audio technology courtesy of wireless ear-buds and the elimination of the 3.5mm audio jack on the latest iPhone. These were among a series of launches and announcements at the September 7 Apple Keynote conference, which saw the unveiling of AirPods, the iPhone 7, and Apple Watch Series 2, along with new apps, innovations and refinements.

But for fans eagerly anticipating news of all things iPad, they'll have to wait until next year with no reference to the future innovations this iconic tablet device is likely to enjoy.

Here's what Apple covered, and the ground they hope to break... 

Apple AirPods

AirPods

In the biggest technological announcement of the day, Apple has launched new earphones in the form of AirPods. These small devices connect wirelessly to Apple products including the iPhone 7 in a one-step procedure that does not involve pairing.

The innovation comes courtesy of a new W1 chip, which completes Apple's vision that there is "no sense in users being tethered by cases to a mobile device". The AirPods feature voice and source recognition, incredible sound and five hours of battery life.

The move to wireless was part of a dual assault on the way mobile devices access audio technology. In another bold manoeuvre the company has announced it is moving away from the 3.5mm audio jack, instead using connecting earphones via the lightning connection on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The move is designed to not only save precious space and deliver a more refined look, but will also provide better sound quality. Lightning connected ear phones will be provided in the iPhone 7 box, along with a converter from lightning to 3.5mm audio for consumers still keen to utilise this connection. 

Apply iPhone 7

New iPhone 7

The refinements to the iPhone 7 don't end with audio. The latest addition to the hugely popular smartphone range will include a better camera, faster processor, and increased durability, along with a more streamlined look.

• Camera
The iPhone 7 cameras and technology behind them have seen some of the greatest advancements, now including a 12mp camera with image stabilising technology, a new flash, wider lens and flicker sensitivity to artificial light. Supported by improvements to image software, this means even the base iPhone 7 will deliver better images in low light, with the capability of replicating depth of field.

The 7 Plus goes a step beyond to include two rear-facing cameras comprising one improved standard width camera and an additional zoom camera that allows users to hone in on an image at 2x with no deterioration and up to 10x using software-based zoom.

• Durability
iPhones have never been famed for their tolerance of water, but that all changes with the iPhone 7 courtesy of dust and waterproof features.

• Look
The iPhone 7 is set to boast a seamless look as a result of the "the most deliberate evolution of their original founding design". A bevy of smooth surfaces, rounded corners and clean lines with minimum protrusions make this a simple and elegant upgrade where the aluminium body blends into the glass front. Gone is any sign of the antenna, and of course also absent is the audio jack.

New colours include a high gloss jet black, along with a more industrial matt black. It joins the existing colours of Gold, Rose Gold and Silver.

• Home Button
Meanwhile, one of iPhone's most recognised features, the home button has also received a makeover. The home button is now backed by a Taptic Engine allowing for more intuitive use which is force sensitive and provides feedback.

• Performance
The all-new A10 Fusion processor delivers unprecedented speed and economy. The chip comprises four cores, with two dedicated to energy efficient tasks like emailing and texting, while the other two handle performance tasks like gaming.

Together they make the A10 chip 40% faster than its predecessor the A9, while the battery is set to last an average of two hours longer than the iPhone 6. 

New Apple Watch

Also upgraded was the AppleWatch, with the second generation of this fitness device revealed.

New features include swimming suitability with water immersion to a depth of 50m, inbuilt GPS in all devices, a new ceramic case option, faster processor, brighter display, a Nike branded model, and designer Hermès bands. 

Apple Watch 2

Gaming focus

Apple has also brought some big name gaming companies into the fold. A lighter version of Pokémon Go will be available for Apple Watch, while Super Mario has a new game for iPhones soon to be available at the App Store and entitled Super Mario Run. Designed specifically for mobile phone gaming, users can play it one-handed.

Price

The iPhone 7 is now available for purchase in Australia, with prices starting from $1269. Apple AirPods will be available in October for $229. The Apple Watch Series 2 retails from $529.

Conclusion

Apple has undoubtedly flagged a future where mobile audio will be delivered differently and cameras are faster, brighter and comparable to traditional SLRs. It remains to be seen how the market responds to these innovations and whether they will carry through to the next iPads.