The Smoke Signal

Apple unveils new products at keynote event

Kevin Valdez

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At its annual Keynote event at the newly built Apple Park in Cupertino, California, Apple and its staff announced the future releases of many different Apple products, including Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, and not one, but two different types of iPhones.

The next generation of Apple Watch features built-in cellular, so users can answer calls and receive texts straight from them if their phone is left behind. It will also be waterproof, meaning you can swim with it on, has a GPS included, and is capable of streaming over 40 million songs with Apple Music installed on it. The Apple Watch Series 3 comes at a starting price of $399 with cellular, and $329 without.

The new Apple TV 4K still consists of a small black box with the remote, but also includes 4K HDR technology. It also runs on a A10X processor, the same used in the iPad Pro, and is reportedly twice as fast as the TV’s old chip. Its latest operating system added a dark and night mode, improvements that make downloading and getting notifications easier than before, and most importantly added live sports and Amazon Prime Video into the mix.

After the new generations of the Apple Watch and Apple TV were presented, Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP Phil Schiller came up on stage to introduce the new iPhone 8. The phone now has glass on both sides, which consists of aerospace-grade aluminum and a deeper strengthening layer, and new stereo speakers. Its wide-angle camera has 12 megapixels and an all new sensor, while the iPhone 8 Plus includes two. Not only can you charge both phones with your wire plug, you can also use Qi wireless charging pads. Expect to see them at hotels, restaurants, and airports in the near future.

Senior Jazzie Herrera likes the idea of wireless charging pads.

“I think that’s very cool because people struggle all the time at school having time to charge their phones during class and all that,” she said. “So I think the wireless charger will come in handy for those people.”

“I guess it’s something that people have been asking for for a while, but Samsung beat them to it,” sophomore Thomas Hunt said. “They can’t really be better than Samsung at that because they’re so late in the game, but I guess it’s another cool feature.”

A larger charging pad, the AirPower Mat, which will have the capacity to charge the new iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, will be released next year. The new iPhones come in three colors, silver, space gray, and a new gold finish.

The final product to be revealed at the presentation was the iPhone X. Like the screens in the latest Samsung Galaxy phones, it will be curved into the design, and fills up nearly the entire front of the device. It will also be the first device Apple has ever made that uses OLED technology. Instead of each pixel being backlit, they provide their own power, making it smoother than ever. The battery life is better on this phone, with two more hours than the iPhone 7. There’s also no home button, making the ways to wake up and unlock the phone change drastically.

Thomas Hunt says that the phone looks more futuristic without a home button, while seniors Jazzie Herrera and Brandon Rosa compared them to how Android phones look.

To wake the iPhone X, you can either simply tap on its screen or pick it up. A new facial recognition software where you just look into the iPhone automatically unlocks it, compared to pressing the home button on previous phones. The feature also animates various expressions with your face using a new feature called Animoji, and lets you send messages with them. The black bar at the top of the screen is known as the TrueDepth camera system, which contains all the different sensors, illuminators, cameras and doodads that make each change possible.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have a starting price of $699 and $799 respectively, while the iPhone X can be bought for $999. Senior Brandon Rosa says they’re overpriced, but Jazzie Herrera has a reason why they’re selling them at high costs.

“The iPhones already right now are super expensive,” Herrera stated. “As the quality goes up, the more it costs, like, the iPhone X is gonna be a thousand dollars.”

The Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will start hitting store shelves September 22. The iPhone X, on the other hand, can be preordered starting October 27, and won’t be available until November 3.

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Apple unveils new products at keynote event