23+ questions Apple answered at Apple Park

A few days ago, I raised 23 questions I thought Apple might answer during its iPhone 8 launch event. Here’s what it told us.

Apple, Apple Park, iPhone, iOS, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV 4K, iPhone 8, iPhone X

A few days ago, I raised 23 questions I thought Apple might give us some answers to during its special event. Here’s what the company told us.

Steve Jobs

Apple hosted its iPhone unveiling in the all-new underground Steve Jobs Theater situated at Apple Park. Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a heartfelt and extremely touching tribute to his old boss. “Steve was a genius, and one of the ways he showed that was his uncanny ability to unlock the talents of everyone he worked with,” he said.

iPhone Home button and Touch ID

Apple has eliminated the Home button on the iPhone X, but not on iPhone 8. We now know that Apple has introduced face recognition that does indeed work in darkness and takes milliseconds to recognize a face. We also know that (in theory at least), FaceID is more secure than Touch ID — so long as your identical twin doesn’t get to your iPhone. We also learned that you can’t fool Face ID with a mask.

Bunny ears on the iPhone?

Apple did indeed introduce “bunny ears” in the iPhone X, in which the time and status bar are both situated on opposite ears of the device's OLED screen. It’s not the only change — you get to Control Center by swiping down at the right of the iPhone X display, and you switch between apps by swiping up.

Wireless charging?

Apple’s new iPhones all support Qi wireless charging but do not support the full room Energous charging system (yet). All the products (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X) support this, but you need to buy an accessory from another manufacturer. Apple promises its own solution (called AirPower) in 2018, but it is trying to improve Qi so it can charge multiple devices (such as iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods) at the same time. That will take time.

What about iPhone battery life?

We don’t yet know what shape the battery happens to be inside the iPhone X, but we do know Apple promised us two hours of additional battery life inside the much-refined future of smartphones. (Yours beginning at $999. In November.)

Smart connections?

Apple didn’t bow to the inevitable by introducing Smart Connector tech inside iPhones. At least not yet.

OLED display

The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch OLED display — but Apple has done some insanely great things that mean its OLED is way better than anybody else can offer, said Phil Schiller,  Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. He calls it “Super Retin." It has a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels, for a 458ppi pixel density.

More iPhone memory?

One rumor that didn’t come true — Apple does not (yet) offer a 512GB storage maximum in iPhone. Instead, you have to choose between 64GB and 256GB of storage in iPhone X and iPhone 8. iCloud still insists on providing a paltry 5GB of storage for these giant smartphones.

How fast is the iPhone X?

As predicted, the new A11 chip does indeed trash every other mobile chip from any manufacturer. It’s a 6-core chip the company calls the A11 Bionic — it has two high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. Apple says this is the most powerful chip ever to appear in a smartphone. This is actually true.

What about the camera in the new iPhones?

Apple made numerous improvements for iPhoneographers. Some highlights include a new Portrait Lighting feature that lets you easily create atmospheric and beautiful images. Pixel processing improves image sharpness and optical image stabilization. And it has much better color.

These improvements extend to video — even the iPhone 8 lets you shoot in 4K at 60fps, with the image processor dividing what it sees into 2 million tiny tiles, which built-in machine intelligence optimizes info about to improve the final picture. These cameras build on Apple’s reputation in this space.

Will iPhone cost $1,000?

The 64GB iPhone X price starts at $999. The 256GB model costs $1,149. The iPhone 8 range is slightly cheaper, starting from $799 (iPhone 8 Plus) or $699 (iPhone 8).

When will the new iPhones ship?

The new iPhone 8 range ships in September. The iPhone X, on the other hand, ships in November after being made available for pre-order on Oct. 27.

Will people buy these phones?

We still don’t know the answer to that. We do know that some analysts think one in three iPhone users will upgrade to a new device by this time next year.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple’s new Watch will include an LTE connection, but introduction is being limited because the carriers need to agree to support the device. Apple says the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular will be available in the U.K., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and the U.S. on Sept. 22, with other countries following next year. Pre-orders start on Sept. 15. The bad news? Apple didn’t say it, but the carriers are likely to charge you extra to connect your watch, says The Street.

Apple Pencil for iPhone?

There is no Apple Pencil support for iPhone.

Apple TV, Music and more

Apple TV 4K has lots to recommend it. It uses the same chip as you’ll find inside an iPad Pro, it runs 4K content, Dolby Vision and HDR10, and Apple will even upgrade your existing HD movies to 4K, so long as you purchased them through iTunes. And the prices are competitive. It’s available Sept. 22 starting at $179.

4K movie services

Apple promises support for 4K movies. The rollout of some new enhancements is limited by the territorial protectionism and licensing used by the media companies.

VR glasses?

Apple did not launch the VR/AR glasses it has been developing for years.

What about health apps?

Apple made numerous announcements around health. Among others, these included a huge heart health study with Stanford Unversity, a new feature in which Apple Watch will warn you if it detects irregular heart rhythms, and the capacity to identify height as well as distance of travel.

Et tu, ARKit?

Apple showed us a few ARKit developments, but chose to focus on gaming — even though it also admitted it is developing AR presentations for use in the Apple Park Visitor Center it expects to open next year.

What about Android?

Yeah, what about it?

What about iPhone SE?

I asked: “Will Apple really wait until 2018 to launch the iPhone SE2?”

Answer: Looks like it will.

One more thing

Apple reprised its famed “one more thing” slogan when it launched iPhone X.

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