Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The iPHONE 7 and 7 PLUS are Out and More APPLE Surprises

After much hype and fanfare, yes indeed, Apple has brought out its latest generation of smartphones and other products for its yearly press jaunt. And the stars of the night, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, were everything they were rumored to be and more so. Top it off with a surprising additional announcement and well, Apple seems to be all good.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sort of stole the show at the very beginning with a nice lead-up to the event, as reported by TIME. On his way to the venue at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco he hitched a ride with “Late Late Show” host James Corden, creator of “Carpool Karaoke”. They got a few lines off a song from Cook’s favorite band One Republic, and along with Pharrell Williams they belted out Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”, before arrive on the scene for the program proper.

That by the way is also a promotion for the fact that episodes of Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” are now Apple Music exclusives, along with new exclusive episodes featuring a new host. Anyway, back to the new Apple gadgets. USA Today has the lowdown on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple spokesperson Phil Schiller notes that they have 10 significant new features, among them being a new force-sensitive (hah, “Star Wars” much?) Home Button that can read how much pressure is exerted on it by users; IP67 protection offering a greater degree of water and dust resistance (not proofing, just resistance); and improved cameras with 12-megapixel sensor and 6-element lens with 4-LED flash for even better image quality (the front camera is now 7-megapixel with auto-stabilizer and wide color for superior selfie-taking).

The 7 Plus goes one better with TWO cameras to the base 7’s one. Located side by side, one camera is for telephoto and the other is for wide-angle shots; you can dispense with the third-party accessories that provide the same functions that are now built in. By the way, the 7 Plus was rushed to be introduced along with the basic 7, as there will be a future patch that will enable the two cameras to work in concert for taking depth-of- field shots.

Steve Wozniak had it right though. The classic phone jack is gone to make way for stereo speaker placements. The ear-pods now use the lightning port, sorry. Plus there’s a new AIR-pod set that is wireless – and probably easily misplaced.

Prices are $649 for the iPhone 7, $749 for the 7 Plus, $159 for the Air-pods. Other news is the arrival of “Pokémon Go” (remember this?) on the Apple Watch, and the intro of the new Series 2 Watches costing $369. And there’s even a surprise appearance from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto to announce the coming of an all-new “Super Mario” game for the iOS.

All in all, I say they really nailed it for this one.

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