Apple launches faster iPhones and heart health-focused Watch
Image credit: reuters
Apple has unveiled its largest and most expensive iPhone yet, along with two additional new handsets, as well as a new version of the Apple Watch that can detect heart problems and inform the emergency services.
The latest iPhones all come equipped with Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor, which is the first to be built on a new 7nm manufacturing process.
The new processor has two high-performance cores which are 15 per cent faster than the previous generation and four high-efficiency cores which use 50 per cent less power than the energy-efficient cores in the A11.
The XS (pronounced ‘10-S’ not ‘excess’, apparently) is the primary successor to last year’s iPhone X, which revamped the line up by removing the home button and fitting a larger screen to the device.
Besides the improved processor, the XS features thinner bezels around its 5.8-inch display and its two 12MP cameras are supposedly able to take better quality photos with the help of the new chip and a Smart HDR feature that captures more frames before analysing and merging them for the best possible shot.
Apple also said that the iPhone XS will give users around 30 minutes extra battery per day, depending on usage. Prices will start from £999, the same as the previous generation.
iPhone XS Max
The Max has similar specs to the XS but features a 6.5-inch display, the largest iPhone display yet.
Apple said the battery should provide around an hour and a half extra compared to the iPhone X.
Both devices also have even greater storage capacity, now up to a maximum of 512Gb.
The XS Max starts at £1,099, but the highest storage option will set you back £1,499.
Apple’s third new handset this year, the XR, is designed to appeal to more price-conscious consumers, retailing at £749.
The device represents Apple’s final abandoning of the design it first introduced with the iPhone 6 in 2014. Last year’s cheaper model, the iPhone 8, stuck with the older design while featuring many of the guts of the more expensive X.
The XR makes a few compromises in comparison to the XS models, such as an aluminium frame instead of stainless steel and only one 12-megapixel camera on the back.
The 6.1-inch display also uses LCD technology instead of the OLED screens used on the pricier models, although Apple still claims that the display is the “most advanced” LCD display ever.
This cheaper iPhone variant also includes Face ID this time around to unlock the handset, in comparison to the iPhone 8’s continuing use of the fingerprint-based Touch ID.
Apple Watch Series 4
Apple has made a number of improvements to its Apple Watch, with more focus on health and fitness in Series 4.
The company has introduced a new user interface, which makes room for eight complications, such as quick access to a specific family member or health and fitness stats, as well as new fire, water and vapour face watches.
Among the health-related features, Apple has added a fall detection option, that will alert emergency services and family members within 60 seconds if you don’t respond.
The Apple Watch is also able to perform an ECG test and detect a number of heart conditions, such as a low heart rate or arrhythmic beating.
Apple says that the device, which starts at £399, will have the same 18-hour battery life as the previous Apple Watch.
Apple also announced the latest version of its mobile operating system which will come on the new devices and be made available to all iPhones going back to the 5S.
It will be available to download from September 17 and contains numerous performance, security and battery-saving updates, as well as added functionalities to some apps.
A software update is also being rolled out to HomePods, providing users with the ability to pair with a second HomePod for even louder sound and wider stereo spread.
Apple also announced further details about the next OS update for Mac computers, OS X Mojave, featuring a dark mode and a redesigned Mac App Store.