Finally the moment is here and Apple’s iPhone 7 launch event is now underway. We’ll be covering the major events individually right here. Tim Cook kicked off proceedings in a novel way with a special episode of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and special guest Pharrell. When James finally dropped Tim off at the event venue in San Francisco, it was time to get down to business in earnest, and a slightly croaky-voiced Tim Cook took to the stage to greet the audience in the auditorium and around the world.
He began with a brief update and some celebratory facts about Apple Music, noting that Apple Music now has more than 17 million paid subscribers. In particular, Cook mentioned the many exclusives that Apple Music has hosted over the past year, including new albums by Frank Ocean and Taylor Swift. He also noted that iOS 10 will see a redesigned Apple Music to make it easier to use.
After a brief mention of the Apple Music Festival due to kick off in London September 18 and running through until September 28, Cook turned to an App Store update, revealing that more than 140 billion apps have now been downloaded from the App Store, with 106% growth rates in downloads year on year. This is two times more revenue than Apple’s nearest competitor, beamed Cook.
iPhone and iPad are the most popular gaming devices in the world, said Cook, noting that one person is missing from that platform. Could it possibly be? Was Tim Cook about to announce Mario for iOS? Yes he most certainly was, and then, to rapturous applause, the creator of Mario, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto walked onto the stage to reveal the first Mario game for iOS, and only for iOS, Super Mario Run, out in December!
After a demonstration of the game, Miymoto revealed that Mario stickers would also be coming to iMessage.
Cook then talked about Apple’s ConnectED program, introducing teachers and students from two California schools. Cook announced that Apple is working with 4,500 schools, and providing thousands of iPads.
Next, more education with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds App for iPad, before Susan Prescott, VP in Apps Product Marketing, took to the stage to talk about iWork apps Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, and demonstrating the new real-time collaboration feature for these apps.
Tim Cook then returns to the stage, and it’s Apple Watch time! He says that after just a year and a half since launch, the Apple Watch is now the number two watch brand behind Rolex, and the number one smartwatch.
Cook hands over the stage to Jeff Williams, who talks about watchOS 3, before revealing that Pokémon Go is coming to the Apple Watch. We then get a brilliant demonstration of Pokémon Go, with Niantic founder John Hanke stating that the game has been downloaded more than 500 million times.
Now it’s finally Apple Watch Series 2 time, and we’ll be reporting on that in-depth after the event, but suffice it to say that Apple is really going big on the health benefits of Apple Watch, with demonstrations of a new Viewranger hiking app, plus the announcement of a special Apple Watch Nike edition, demonstrated by Nike president Trevor Edwards.
Tim Cook returns to tease us all with some chat about iOS 10, in particular HomeKit and Messages, and then finally, it’s here, the iPhone 7!
Tim Cook tells us this is the best iPhone ever, then it’s over to Jony Ive to a video of the “gorgeous” new iPhone looking exactly that, narrated by Sir Jony Ive, of course, before Marketing chief Phil Schiller takes to the stage for a forensically in-depth showcase of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It turns out that the new finish is actually “Jet Black,” not Space Black! And the regular black phone is just…black! Gotta love how Apple actually takes note of all the rumour-mongering and then has fun with it!
Next up, the redesigned Home Button, which is also now customizable, and can be used for Quick Actions, messages, notifications, and much more, via Taptic Engine.
As expected, both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be water- and dust-resistant.
Schiller is particularly taken with the iPhone 7 camera, with both phones now having optical image stabilization, not just the Plus phone. The FaceTime HD camera is now 7MP, an increase from 5MP. And, as expected, the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens rear camera.
Following that lengthy look at the best iPhone camera ever, Schiller gets back to talking about the iPhone 7 in general, and in particular the display, which is 25% brighter with a “wide” colour gamut. Ian Spalter from Instagram steps up to show how well the wider colour gamut works on Instagram’s recently launched Stories feature.
Next, after the reveal that this will be the first iPhone with stereo speakers, Schiller turns to the thorny issue of the headphone jack; as you might expect, he handles it expertly, using phrases like being “tethered” to your phone by corded headphones, and directly responding to the question of why Apple decided to remove the headphone jack by saying that Apple simply had enough “courage” to take such a big step, before expanding the theme further by saying that Apple believes in wireless audio, and then showing exactly how Apple intends to solve the many problems of wireless audio to date, starting with its new AirPods. These really do look pretty amazing, and will only play music when the built-in sensors detect that an AirPod is in your ear. Nice! And then we have the new Beats headphones, also no surprise since the many leaks, but looking good all the same.
And the event then draws to a close with discussion of Apple Pay, which will be arriving in Japan next month, and then a look at the iPhone 7’s new A10 Fusion 64-bit, quad-core processor with 3.3 billion transistors, or, “a rocket ship,” to quote Schiller, promising better battery life. It is, he says, the “most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.”
And then, to show it all off, a look at a new game, Oz: Broken Kingdom, which looks just incredible!
So there it is, ladies and gentleman, your new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, what beauties! Sia wraps everything up with a great performance, see you again next year.
Source: Live from Apple's iPhone 7 launch!