The 5-minute guide to Apple’s iPhone 8 event

Missed all the action? Here’s everything you need to know

14 September 2017
by Stuff Staff

Phew! Has Apple ever crammed so much into one event as it did the other night?

Not only did we meet the iPhone X – comfortably the most exciting thing to happen to iPhones in three years – but we also got a glut of other new products, updates, and news.

If you didn’t catch it all, or don’t have time to watch the entire two-hour stream, allow us to guide you through the highlights…

1) THE IPHONE X IS AN ALL-SCREEN BEAUTY

This being a landmark Apple event, there was always going to be a “One More Thing”. That thing – which the audience did an admirable job of pretending not to know about – was the iPhone X, a button-banishing behemoth of a smartphone.

With an edge-to-edge 5.8in OLED display, HDR video compatibility, a glass back, upgraded dual cameras and TrueDepth face tracking that facilitates the total removal of a home button, the X shows show just how far the iPhone has come in 10 years.

The only problem? It’ll cost a cool US$1000 for the cheapest model…

2) WIRELESS CHARGING IS THE MOST EXCITING NEW THING ABOUT THE IPHONE 8

Don’t fancy flogging everything you’ve ever owned to raise the funds for an iPhone X? No matter, the iPhone 8 and its plus-sized sibling still have plenty in their arsenal.

With an all-new glass design, nippier A11 Bionic processor and better 12-megapixel snapper, this is a sizeable upgrade on the 7, and the aforementioned glass back means we have wireless charging in an iPhone for the first time. Sadly, the standard 8 doesn’t get the dual-lens camera setup of the Plus, but there’s more than enough to justify making the jump.

3) ANIMOJIS WILL BE MASSIVE

Usually when someone says, ‘You look like crap’, they don’t mean it as a compliment. That’s all set to change with the launch of Animojis on the iPhone X. Thanks to that super-phone’s front-facing camera, your face can now be implanted on all manner of emoji, including the unicorn, alien and poo.

But let’s be honest, you’re only ever going to use the poo.

4) APPLE WATCH NO LONGER NEEDS A PHONE

Three years after it first launched, the Apple Watch is finally a fully formed smartwatch. The Watch Series 3 boasts bountiful app support, GPS and waterproofing, but what’s more it can now make and receive phone calls. Well, if you pick up the version with cellular support it can, which sadly doesn’t look like it’s coming to the Middle East anytime soon.

A Series 3 without cellular is also available, and it’s basically the excellent Series 2 Watch with a new, more efficient W2 processor chip.

5) IOS 11 IS OUT NEXT TUESDAY

We already knew the latest version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system was due out imminently; now it’s been given a proper release date. Haven’t read the subhead yet? You’ll be able to get your hands on a new and improved Siri, superior Apple Maps app and multiroom AirPlay on September 19.

6) THE NEW APPLE TV IS IN 4K. AT LAST

On the surface, the next-gen Apple TV looks identical to its predecessor, as does that handy Siri remote. Under the hood, though, it’s a very different beast. The headline feature here is undoubtedly 4K HDR.

Late to the party, sure, but Apple’s arrived at the door with the very welcome gift of an automatic 4K upgrade to anything you’ve already bought – at no extra cost. iTunes won’t be charging any more than what you paid for HD movies either.

7) AIRPOWER IS NOW A THING

Apple’s Watch has had wireless charging since its launch, but now the feature has made its way over to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X and a special AirPods case.

What does that mean? You’ll soon be able to buy another overpriced accessory. The AirPower is out in 2018 and is essentially a giant slab that can charge your iPhone, AirPods and Watch at the same time. It’s probably worth a purchase if you’re so locked into Apple’s ecosystem that you can’t see the light of day.

8) NO SIGN OF HOMEPOD OR IMAC PRO

Apple’s had a busy year already what with its new iPhones, iMacs, MacBook Pros and Watch. Those aren’t the only the only products it’s still got slated for release before Christmas, though. And no, we’re not talking about the iCar.

The Siri-powered HomePod speaker and supercharged iMac Pro are both due out before December, but neither was mentioned at Apple’s iPhone launch event tonight though. Another Apple event sometime in October, anyone?

9) STEVE JOBS STILL CASTS A BIG SHADOW

The night started with a tribute to Apple’s founder Steve Jobs, and it looked to us as if Tim Cook was wiping away a tear as he spoke about the “genius” who represents the very “DNA of Apple”. The event took place in the Steve Jobs Theater in the company’s new Apple Park HQ, and Cook described how Jobs had started planning the building years before his untimely death; it was all rather touching.

What Jobs would have made of the iPhone X – complete with distinctly un-Jobs-like cutout section at the top of the screen – is another matter, but the tribute reminded us all that without him, we wouldn’t even have an iPhone.

10) HIGH SIERRA IS OUT 25 SEPTEMBER

OK. This announcement wasn’t made at Apple’s iPhone event, but rather snuck out on the MacBook makers’ website afterwards. Not that it matters. The important thing is that your iMac, MacBook or MacBook Pro will receive a relatively modest update on September 25, with a few notable tweaks to its Mail, Photos and Notes apps. There. We’ve told you. Our job is done.

11) APPLE PARK LOOKS LIKE THE MOST APPLE PLACE IN THE WORLD

In our minds, working at Apple is a one-way ticket to infinite riches and instant fluency in techy nonsense. But as much as we’d love to figure out what Super Retina Display actually means in English, employment in Cupertino would definitely bring one superior perk: grinding out our 9 to 5 on the new Apple Park campus.

According to a ritzy video opening the event, that place is pretty much paradise – a paradise complete with its own forest and the largest solar power installation in the universe (or something). We’ll admit we didn’t pay attention to every detail, dressed up as it was in that trademark Apple hyperbole.

But it sure does look pretty. And yes, it probably has a better canteen than Stuff HQ too.

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