Written By: Michael Savich
Apple CEO Tim Cook paced across the stage at the newly opened Steve Jobs theater, located in Apple’s equally new Apple Park headquarters.“iPhone 8 [is] a new generation of iPhone, and a huge step forward. But we’re not stopping there. We do have one more thing,” Cook said.
Apple had just finished introducing the new iPhone 8. Compared to iPhone 7, iPhone 8 is a significant upgrade in almost every way. From support for emerging wireless standards such as Bluetooth 5 and LTE Advanced to camera upgrades, to the adoption of Apple’s True Tone display previously seen in recent iPads. iPhone 8 is clearly an all-new phone, but it wasn’t what people had come to see.
The audience was cheering. They knew what Tim was about to say. “This is iPhone X.”
Pronounced iPhone 10, iPhone X’s most striking feature is the edge-to-edge OLED display. Gone are the bezels that used to surround the screen, and the result is a device that is all display. Even the home button, a mainstay of iPhones since the first, is gone, replaced by a swipe gesture providing the same functionality.
Throughout the rest of the keynote, Apple articulated the vision behind iPhone X: the original iPhone, unveiled 10 years ago, lets you physically reach out and touch software. With iPhone X, the hardware has become software.
Since iPhone X has no home button, you can’t unlock it with your fingerprint. Instead, iPhone X unlocks when you look at it, using what Apple calls Face ID. This is accomplished by an array of sensors that ensure that Face ID works even in the dark and that it can’t be fooled by photographs.
Those same sensors enabling Face ID will also be available to developers. Apple demonstrated some inventive uses for them, ranging from animating yourself as an emoji in real time to applying eerily realistic clown makeup to a face in a Snapchat picture.
Both iPhone 8 and iPhone X sport the “A11 Bionic” processor, which continues Apple’s trend of blowing the chip competition out of the water. It’s the kind of power necessary to pull off things like Face ID. Even on iPhone 8, the A11 is used behind the scenes to help take better pictures and run new augmented reality applications.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature the 8 and X share, however, is “Wireless charging”. Perhaps better described as inductive charging, this means that by placing your phone on a compatible Qi (pronounced “chi”) charging mat, you can charge the device without having to plug in wires. Now that Apple has thrown its weight behind the Qi standard, (which Samsung also uses) you can expect to start seeing Qi charging surfaces in public places, like hotels, coffee shops, and more.
With a starting price of $999 and a tagline of “Say hello to the future,” Apple is positioning iPhone X as tomorrow’s technology today. For those not chomping at the bit to cut themselves on the bleeding edge, iPhone 8 is there.
iPhone 8 starts at $699, and will be available for pre-order on September 15th.
iPhone X starts at $999, and will be available for pre-order October 27th.
Photographs obtained from https://www.apple.com/