Apple’s latest hardware refresh event included the usual gear — including a rugged smart watch, updated earbuds, and next-generation iPhones — but for many users, it’s the release of iOS 16 and passwordless logins that promises to be the game-changer.
Bigger, better, faster, stronger
The passwordless features are just one of the many improvements that Apple has traditionally made event in September revamps the company’s lineup of personal products in the run-up to the Christmas shopping season.
Headliner of the company’s latest product launch event were the iPhone 14 (starting at $1,399) – available in four flavors, including the 14 Proincluding a boost to the phone’s cameras, a redesigned user interface including dynamic lock screens and the new Dynamic Island feature, and features such as automatic crash detection that detects an impact and triggers calls to emergency services.
The main camera has been upgraded from 12 megapixels to 48 MP, although that doesn’t mean you get bigger images: the extra pixels support a new Photonic Engine, which uses AI techniques to sort the pixels and generate higher-definition images, especially in low light.
The new phones can be ordered tomorrow and shipped next week.
Meanwhile, the company’s AirPods Pro ($399) got a renew that promises better noise cancellation, longer battery life, and tweaks to the Spatial Audio feature, while Apple also extended its Fitness+ workout app for all iPhone users.
But the biggest changes come from an expansion of Apple’s Apple Watch family, which got two new models and upgrades to the Apple Watch Series 8. including a temperature sensor that enables menstrual cycle tracking, as well as sleep analysis, crash detection, fitness and other functions.
Apple also launched a robust Apple Watch Ultra which combines a titanium case, a large 49mm case, up to 36 hours of battery life and the ability to stay connected without a supporting iPhone.
The watch, which retails for $1,299 on September 23, offers water resistance to 100 meters, ruggedness to military standards — making it fully aimed at ultra-marathonists, mountaineers, divers and other purveyors of Instagram-worthy extreme sports.
Apple’s third model, the Apple Watch SEupdates the company’s entry-level smartwatch option and will cost $399 when it ships on September 16.
Together, the devices represent an update to Apple’s suite of end-user devices — all of which will benefit from smoother password processing that simplifies user authentication across the entire Apple ecosystem.
The event paves the way for additional events according to experts, the company will also update its computers, iPads, HomePod audio devices and the much-discussed virtual reality headset in the coming months.