It wouldn’t be September without the start of football and a major product announcement from Apple. At today’s Apple Event, the company announced revisions to their entire lineup, and released official details on a pair of upcoming services. Here’s everything we learned at the Apple event today.
Announced earlier this year, Apple’s subscription gaming service was fleshed out with details on pricing and title availability. For $4.99, subscribers will get access to more than 100 games. Titles will be a mix of classic games and newly developed concepts, will be playable across all Apple devices—including Apple TV—and gamers can move between devices mid-game. Like Apple TV, the subscription can be shared with up to six family members. Apple arcade launches on September 19.
Apple TV Plus
Apple’s streaming TV service has been buzzed about for more than a year, and now it’s ready to go live. Launching on November 1st—that’s just eleven days before Disney+ goes live—Apple TV Plus will cost $4.99 a month, and can be shared with six family members. It appears that Apple TV Plus will only offer Apple original programming, and while the service doesn’t have many shows at the outset, the programs it does have are stacked with talent. Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Hailee Steinfeld, and Jason Momoa will all be starring in Apple original series. Those not sold on adding yet another streaming service to their quiver can take advantage of a 7-day free trial, and customers who purchase a new Apple device will get full year of Apple TV+ for free.
Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch already packs a ton of tech into a small package, so there’s only so much room to improve. This iteration is mostly unchanged from the 4, with the most significant upgrade being the addition of an always-on display option. Users who would prefer not to have to move their wrist to see their time can now set their Apple Watch to continuously display it. Apple promises that the option won’t significantly diminish battery life, thanks in part to a new display technology and driver. All of the other typical Apple Watch features are present—ApplePay, activity tracking, optional built-in cellular service—and the new model sports a built-in digital compass. The Apple Watch 5 will start at $399, while the Series 3 drops to $199 and the Series 4 gets eliminated from the lineup altogether.
Slightly surprising was the announcement of a new iPad. Now in its seventh generation, the new model is an all-new variant that, while positioned as an entry-level model, looks to bridge the gap between the standard iPad and the iPad Pro. Sporting a 10.2-inch display, the new model is slightly larger than its predecessor. The larger screen, and support for the Apple Pencil and full-sized Smart Keyboard, the new model offers Pro features at a lower price. Starting cost is $329, while education customers can get it for $299.
Apple iPhone 11
Of course, the big news today was the announcement of the iPhone 11. The new iPhone comes in three variants: iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the basic iPhone 11. At first glance, not much appears different compared to the iPhone XR, and indeed this new model is more of an incremental upgrade than an entirely new model. That said, there’s a lot here to like. All three models feature Apple’s new A13 Bionic chip, promise better battery life than the X, and offer improved levels of water resistance (2 meters for the base model and 4 meters for the Pro models). Pro models sport a new screen, dubbed Super Retina XDR, which is said to offer wider dynamic range than the Liquid Retina display.
But the major news is the redesigned camera module. The base model iPhone 11 features a dual camera setup that’s a little different than what we’ve seen in an iPhone before, featuring wide and ultra-wide cameras (previous dual-camera iPhones have had a wide/telephoto combo). iPhone 11 Pro models sport a three-camera setup that reintroduces the telephoto imager. The camera app has always made it easy to switch between focal lengths, but a clever new interface takes it a step further, letting you see what’s outside of your current frame but still captureable with a wider camera. Just tap outside the frame and the iPhone 11 automatically switches to the wider camera and grabs the photo. Further enhancements include a new tone-mapping system that helps images retain highlight details, plus a night mode for better photos in low light situations.
Video shooters will appreciate being able to film in 4K at 60 fps, with extended dynamic range and integrated video stabilization. And with the more powerful A13 chip and iOS 13’s improved video editor, videographers can perform significant edits right on their iPhone.
The iPhone 11 will be available in five different colors, with the base model starting at $699. Pre-orders open on September 13.