We watched the Apple keynote conference at one in the morning and got our first looks at the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the Apple Watch Series 3, the Apple TV and the (I can’t believe we’re saying it) animojis. Now that you’ve waded through the initial impressions and deluge of pictures and videos, here are 5 important points that we took away from the conference.
1. Wireless Charging
While this wasn’t much of a shocker, considering the amount of leaks that came out in the months leading up to the Apple keynote, what is more important is that Apple is adopting the established Qi ecosystem instead of coming up with its own proprietary system. As demonstrated multiple times in the past, when Apple finally adopts a new system, the world starts using it en masse. Hopefully, in the years to come, wireless charging will become the new normal not only for smartphones but for every other tech product, including your laptops, desktop computers and perhaps even your automobile.
2. S$1,648 and S$1,888
That’s the cost of the iPhone X 64GB and 256GB versions respectively. In comparison, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are priced at S$1,148 and S$1,308 respectively. Objectively speaking, that’s a hefty price to pay for being early adopters of technology. But the more important question is whether it’s worth the price?
In the past, with most new systems/software/technology that Apple puts out, there would always be a couple of teething problems and we usually recommend that you wait for the initial obstacles to be smoothened out in the second generation. See Antennagate in the first batch of the iPhone 4. Recently, however, Apple has been hitting it out of the park with its new products. The AirPods were great and Apple Pay had no hiccups, save for retailers that didn’t adopt the system. So, if you have close to S$2,000 to blow on a new gadget, well we say go ahead.
We’re still wondering how Apple will solve that notch at the top when you’re watching full-screen 4K videos though.
3. Same Battery Life as the iPhone 7 models but with Fast Charging
This was a tad surprising to us. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus has the same battery life as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, even with an improved A11 chip. It might not be much of an issue now, considering how prevalent chargers are around the island but you would think that Apple might have tried to improve the efficiency of the new chip and squeeze out even more from the new models. Having said that though, the new iPhones come with Fast Charging – up to 50 per cent in 30 minutes with specific chargers. That’s a massive improvement.
4. Apple Watch Series 3 Has Cellular Functions Now
YES. We’re big fans of the Apple Watch Series 2 and we’re glad to see that Apple has taken its smartwatch one step further by adding cellular functions. The only problem is that it’s LTE, and none of our local telco carriers use that standard. So SingTel, Starhub, M1 and circles.life, if you’re reading this, you’re going to get a huge chunk of the pie if you can support the Apple Watch Series 3.
“We believe the addition of cellular will transform the way people use Apple Watch, providing a new sense of freedom since they can stay connected with or without their iPhone,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Series 3 combined with the power of watchOS 4 is the ultimate device for a healthy life.”
5. Apple is Betting Big on Health and Fitness
While it was not clearly indicated during the keynote, you can ascertain that health and fitness verticals are going to be a huge part of Apple’s focus in the next five years. The company has created ResearchKit and CareKit for developers to create health- and fitness-focused apps, and its new products, especially the Apple Watch Series 3, is geared towards making you fitter and healthier. With the Singapore government’s new focus on battling diabetes and other health diseases caused by a first-world lifestyle, you can be sure that we’ll be seeing more of Apple’s software and products in these fields in Singapore.