Apple unveils new iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods
Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 lineup along with three new Apple Watch models, an update to its popular AirPods product line and a feature that could save lives when cell service isn’t available.
Apple showed off four new smartphones, including a larger 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus model and an updated iPhone 14 Pro that rethinks the much-maligned notch. In typical Apple fashion, the devices also offer better battery life and camera features than the year prior.
The biggest surprise, however, may be the price: The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus will start at $799 and $899, respectively, the same starting prices as last year’s models. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1099, respectively, also unchanged from the year prior. Analysts widely predicted Apple would hike the price of the premium models by $100.
For Apple, the stakes are always high to convince customers to upgrade devices, and especially the iPhone, which remains its central product. That task is potentially made more difficult this year by broader economic jitters, including fears of a looming recession.
Apple announced several new Apple Watch models, including a higher-end version that costs $799 and is designed to support the needs of a rarefied group of outdoor enthusiasts. It also added an option for its watches to detect when a user has been in a car crash, as well as a satellite connectivity feature for phones, which is intended to help people communicate when their cell service isn’t working.
The new iPhone 14 features a 12 MP main camera with bigger pixels, a faster aperture and improved sensors. It also uses the same chip as last year’s iPhone 13 Pro model (the A15), the first time it’s repeated a chip in years.
For the first time, however, the new front camera has auto focus, allowing it to focus at multiple distances in low light for better individual and group selfies. It also has a new action mode that lets users keep videos stable while moving.
The Pro line also comes with the first-ever 48 MP camera on an iPhone.
In a notable shift, the iPhone 14 lineup also eliminates the need for a physical SIM card and instead uses a digital “e-SIM” card. Now, users can store multiple e-SIMs on the same device and have multiple cellular plans and phone numbers on the same phone. It also prevents others from removing the physical SIM card if your iPhone is lost or stolen. Apple said all US models of the iPhone will no longer have the SIM tray.
Like prior versions of Apple’s smartwatch, the Series 8 is intended to motivate users to stay active and fit. Apple also emphasized the Watch’s features for women’s health, with revamped period cycle tracking tools that can predict ovulation. The tracking data is kept on each device and only accessible through a passcode or face ID, according to the company. Apple does not have a key to encrypted data and so it cannot access it without your express permission.
The new AirPods Pro will have six hours of listening time with a single charge, better than the original version. Each headphone and the case itself are now equipped to make a noise to help you find it. And a light swipe up and down the headphone will increase or decrease volume.
AirPods Pro now comes with improved dynamic noise-cancellation technology, and can cancel out double the amount of noise compared to the original version. Meanwhile, a new adaptive transparency mode aims to reduce harsh environmental noise.
The new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, which Apple said has been in the works for years, was designed and built specifically for iPhone 14 devices to connect to satellites when not near a terrestrial tower. By allowing users to point their device toward a satellite, which the phone will help locate, users will be able to send and receive information to get emergency help.
The company said it created a short text compression mechanism to condense messages that take about 15 seconds to send if a user has a clear view of the sky. (It may take a few minutes longer if something like foliage is in the way.)
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Good to know Apple new features