Tim Cook begins the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus event by talking about Steve Jobs and honoring his memory and legacy. He talks about Apple’s hand-in-hand initiative where Apple users can donate to Hurricane Harvey victims easily by donating directly via iTunes. Cook then talks about their all new Apple Park campus. He talks about the 9,000 trees and 100% renewable energy that the campus boasts of. There’s a new AR based visitor’s center at the Apple Park.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Announced
The gen-next iPhone comes out with a seven layer, color-processed glass in both, back and front. It is the most durable glass on a smartphone. These gen-next iPhones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus come in Silver, Space Grey and Gold. Both the devices are waterproof. iPhone 8 comes with a 4.7 inched retina display and the 8 Plus comes with a 5.5 inched display.
The phones run on a new chip, the A11 Bionic. Apple calls it the smartest and most powerful chip ever created. The chip is 25% faster than the A10. It can use all six cores at once. The GPU too, has been designed by Apple this time. The GPU is particularly useful for games and machine learning. The phones come with stereo speakers.
The A11 Bionic also includes an image signal processor for faster autofocus and better sharpness and texture. Apple talks about the shot on iPhone campaign. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come with a new 12 MP camera which provides 83% more light which results in wider range of colors and lower noise on videos. iPhone 8 Plus improves on the portrait mode too.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cameras allow you to separate the subject from the background with a new ‘Portrait Lighting’ feature. This feature identifies contours on the face and adjusts lighting according to your needs. This is based on machine learning and indeed a massive step up for Apple’s camera technologies. It can be adjusted even after a photograph has been taken.
Videos too are better on these new cameras with Apple’s encoding algorithm. 1080p HD 244 FPS slow-mo videos are now supported. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cameras are also great when it comes to Augmented Reality. The cameras are calibrated and tuned to deliver the best motion tracking experience. The AR support also benefits from the new A11 Bionic chip.
Phil Schiller shows off a game based on AR. If you are at a sporting event you can now raise your phone to see who’s standing where. Another app allows you to see the stars around you in the sky. AR is indeed a major highlight of the new iPhones.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus finally come with wireless charging! You no longer need to charge your phone by plugging in a cable. Thanks to the their partnership with Qi and a glass back, wireless charging has finally come to the iPhone devices!
Price and Availability
The iPhone 8 will begin priced in at $699 for the 64GB variant. iPhone 8 Plus begins at $799 for the 64GB variant. The phones will both be available for pre-orders starting 22nd September.
Apple stores are now called ‘town stores’, as per Angela Ahrendts from Apple Retail. She talks about how the store offers a unique and different experience than anything else. Apple is working on new features to improve customer experience such as ‘Plaza’ and ‘Forum’ where users can hang out and connect. Apple also has a ‘boardroom’ where customers can learn from the Apple team.
She introduces ‘Today at Apple’ which has many programs pointed towards consumer engagement such as playgrounds where interested app developers can learn the basics of code. There’s much more such as ‘Teach us Tuesdays’ and photowalks among other things. A video shows off all the cool things at ‘Today at Apple’.