Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event was closely tracked to get a sense of where the Cupertino-based company will be making updates and changes. As expected, newer models of the iPhone, Apple watch and earbuds were unveiled on Wednesday. Apart from the gadgets, the smartphone maker launched its satellite-based connectivity feature that lets people use the company’s next generation phone to communicate when cellular service is out. On the VR-side of things, Apple continued to stay silent.
Also Read | Live updates from Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event
(Sign up to our Technology newsletter, Today’s Cache, for insights on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, business and policy. Click here to subscribe for free.)
The iPhone 14 series
Apple’s latest smartphone introduces a satellite connectivity feature for emergency use. The iPhone 14 will come in four models, and the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max will be powered by the new A16 bionic chip while having a 48MP main camera, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. These handsets will also have a true depth camera and auto-focus for the front-facing camera.
The iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus will not have physical SIM trays in the U.S. The former will have a 6.1 inch display while the latter will boast a 6.7 inch display. Apple users have long complained about the phone’s front facing camera notch. The company has responded with a changed design, which will feature a new pill-shaped cut-out it calls the “dynamic island.” However, the iPhone 14 base model still sports the familiar notched display.
The iPhone 14 will be priced at $799, the iPhone 14 Plus at $899, the iPhone 14 Pro at $999, and iPhone 14 Pro Max will start at $1099.
A photo of the new iPhone series with the pill-shaped ‘dynamic island’
| Photo Credit: AP
The Apple Watch 8 series
The Apple Watch Series 8 is packed with new features, including a menstrual cycle deviation tracker and two motion sensors to detect car crashes. With an 18-hour battery life, the device is water-proof, dust-proof, and crack resistant. Low power mode and international roaming are two additional features debuting with the watch.
In a post-Roe world, privacy conscious users should know that their menstrual cycle data will be encrypted and only accessible via a passcode or biometrics, according to Apple.
The watches are priced at $399 and $499. The latter variant offers cellular service.
Apple has also redesigned its Watch SE to now include a crash detection feature. These are priced at $249 and $299.
AirPods Pro Series 2
With a new H2 chip, the upgraded AirPods Pro offer reduced distortion and greater amplification, according to the company. Users of iPhone with a true-depth camera and iOS16 can get a detailed profile of their ear shape for a custom listening experience, as part of the new personalised spatial audio feature. Meanwhile, the adaptive transparency feature reduces the volume of high decibel noises coming from the listener’s environment. Apple also claims the new AirPods’ noise cancellation is now twice as effective.
The new AirPods Pro also have touch controls enabled. Apple claims there is up to six hours of listening time from a single charge. With the charging case, the total listening time should go up to 30 hours. There is also a speaker at the bottom of the case to help users locate the device and keep it charged. Both the Apple watch charger and MagSafe can be used to charge the product.
The new AirPods Pro start at $249.
An Apple Watch Ultra and new second-generation AirPods Pro were unveiled during Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event
| Photo Credit: AP
Other prominent updates
The ‘Far Out’ event saw Apple unveiling what it described as its most rugged Apple Watch ever. Aimed at athletes who work out in extreme conditions and climates, the Apple Watch Ultra has the biggest and brightest display among Apple Watches. With up to 60 hours of battery life, it again breaks the record among Apple Watches. It is specially geared towards recreational divers. The Apple Watch Ultra also comes with a second speaker to enhance audio even in windy areas. It further makes use of this feature with an 86 decibel siren for emergency situations. The Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799.
The company has also designed and built a connectivity feature in the iPhone 14 devices so that they can connect to satellites even when not near a terrestrial tower. This service is expected to roll out in November in the U.S. and Canada.
AR/VR wait continues
Several people looked forward to an update (or at least some clues) regarding AR/VR from Apple at the ‘Far Out’ event. But there weren’t any revelations for those waiting for Apple to formally take a plunge into the Meta-dominated AR/VR sector.