Apple Special Event Highlights: iPhone 11 Pro, Arcade, Watch Series 5, and More

Apple’s Special Event for September brought expected announcements of new iPhones and details about its Apple Arcade service. We also got updates about how Apple’s specific subscription services will work and when they’ll be available. In a minor surprise for some folks, Tim Cook announced the iPhone 11 Pro, a new line of iPhone that sports even more powerful processing and advanced features. I hope you like really, really big cameras on the back of your phone!

Apple Arcade

Apple’s games-centric service will be available on September 19 in over 150 countries around the world, according to representatives. The subscription-based service is $4.99 per month for “everything.”

Frogger in Toy Town

Apple unveiled a Frogger game that combines classic design of the original and more modern sensibilities like powerups and light platforming. Developers showed a level where a bespectacled baby trashed the environment and Frogger had to get around the destruction.

Shinsekai: Into the Depths

Capcom’s underwater exploration game looks to combine slick visuals with intense survival gameplay.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

This racing/rhythm hybrid from Annapurna Interactive has a cool, neon-soaked aesthetic.

Pascal’s Wager

A Dark Souls-like from Chinese developer Giant. Looks good on the new iPhone’s powerful GPU. They look to innovate on an extremely familiar design by enabling players to switch between different characters in expansive environments.

Apple TV+

Tim Cook took the stage to discuss Apple’s new subscription-based entertainment service akin to Netflix or Disney+. Apple TV+ shows will be available on November 1, 2019 at $4.99 per month. New Apple product purchases will have a year of Apple TV+ bundled with it.

See

See is a futuristic Apple Original starring Jason Momoa in a world where human sight is rare. Jason’s newborns can see, which makes them a target for Cruella de Vil types who want to understand why they have sight and others don’t. Alfre Woodard is in it, which rules. She rules.

iPad

7th Generation iPad

The display of the new model has a larger 10.2″ Retina display than its typical 9.7″ model. The A10 Fusion chip is 2x faster than comparison PCs. The Smart Connector allows you to connect the proprietary keyboard (which folds into a cover). This new model will apparently take “full advantage” of iPadOS.

Multitasking has improved with fanning and quick flicks to switch between apps. You can now “pair” Notes with different apps, meaning a note you open while browsing the web will be different than the instance of Note while you’re in a recipe app. A floating keyboard enhances the one-handed experience.

Swiping up from the bottom left with the Pencil will allow you to take instant screencaps. There are lots of new fancy features that made the audience ooh and ah. Because of course.

The body is made out of 100% recycled aluminum. The new iPad will start at $329. You can order the new iPads today and they’ll ship at the end of September.

Apple Watch

Health Research

A new video aired showcasing the different health benefits users say they get from Apple Watch. Apple announced an Apple Hearing Study using the Apple Watch. A Cycle Tracking study is also beginning, measuring gaps between menstrual cycles and making note of trends. The Apple Heart and Movement Study will continue research on heart-based conditions and the effect of movement on multiple systems. Apple says the upcoming Research App will not store any identifiable information from users.

Apple Watch Series 5

The display of the new models will always be on. It’s a Retina Display that will always show the time and “complications,” their name for health info and movement info or whatever you choose to be displayed. The power management and light sensors will maintain 18-hour battery life. Before, you’d have to raise your wrist at a certain angle for the display to turn on, which would make meetings that go too long a little awkward.

There’s a new Compass built into the Watch now. It’ll be able to show coordinates, incline, elevation, and other metrics. International Emergency Calling is now available for models with cellular capabilities.

The cases of the new Apple Watches are also 100% recycled aluminum. New titanium models and a ceramic model join the aluminum and stainless steel models. There’s even a very fancy new Hermes face you can get.

GPS models will start at $399 and cellular models will start at $499. September 20 is the day you can get them in stores, but you can start ordering them now. The Series 3 Watches are now down to $199.

iPhone

As expected every September, the new models of the iPhone were announced.

iPhone 11

The next generation of iPhones have a massive camera setup on the back, as expected from early leaks and spec mockups. You can get the iPhone 11 in six new colors, including purple! There’s a 6.1″ Liquid Retina Display and spatial audio. The device supports Dolby Atmos, as well.

There’s a 12MP Wide Camera and a 12MP Ultra Wide Camera. The difference between one photo with the normal wide camera and the ultra wide camera is legitimately stunning. The image pipeline has also been improved with semantic rendering which will help the cameras recognize subjects. Night Mode joins the new camera features and will allow you to take better photos in low light situations.

Video gets improvements, too, with the new camera setup. Also, finally, taking video from a photo setting is one touch, instead of having to swipe over to video. That’s huge. Doesn’t sound huge! But it’s huge.

The front-facing camera has a wider sensor and allows slow-motion video. Now you can take very dramatic selfie videos, so look out for the Extremely Slow Motion Country Boys of TikTok.

The A13 Bionic is the new chip for iPhone 11. The chip is the fastest ever in a smartphone. A lot of conveniently data-less graphs were shown. It’s also the fastest GPU in a smartphone.

The new iPhone 11 battery will last an hour longer than the XR’s battery. That means you’ll get to play extremely original action title Pascal’s Wager even longer than you would on the last generation model!

The iPhone 11 starts at $699.

iPhone 11 Pro

Tim Cook also announced the iPhone 11 Pro, which has THREE cameras on the back. That’s one more than two! This is a phone designed for pros with an “all new” design. They showed a model in midnight green as well as standard other colors. The case is a brushed matte and is water and dust-resistant. Two sizes were announced, a 5.8″  and 6.5″ display version. The display is a Super Retina XDR display comparable to the new Mac Pro technology and is compatible with the other sound improvements in the standard iPhone 11.

The new A13 Bionic chip can process 1 trillion operations per second. The iPhone 11 Pro uses machine learning and this powerful new chipset to do more. This is also the most efficient chip they’ve developed, meaning you’ll use less power while doing more.

The new battery in the iPhone 11 Pro lasts much longer than the Xs models.

The new camera setup as a 12MP Telephoto Camera that joins the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras show in the iPhone 11 standard models. There’s a 4x optical zoom range combining the telephoto and ultra wide cameras. Did you know that if you have a ton of money and get on a cherry picker you can take beautiful photos? Apple reminded us of this! Thanks!

The new camera setup unsurprisingly improves video capabilities. When you give the iPhone 11 Pro to a professional videographer, you can shoot beautiful video! All of the editing can be done directly on the phone, too.

The iPhone 11 Pro will have dedicated app infrastructure with specific apps for this more powerful device. The iPhone 11 Pro will start at $999 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max will start at $1099. The new lineup will ship starting September 20.

Apple Retail

Apple revealed improvements to the brand’s in-store and online shopping experience. With the Apple Watch Studio, you’ll be able to mix and match watch faces with new bands both in store and online. Apple also unveiled new trade-in monthly payment plans that should lower the monthly cost of its products. For example, the new $1099 iPhone 11 Pro Max will be $29 per month when you trade in an iPhone X. Of course, these plans typically mean you’ll be paying more over time than the base price of the phone, but it’s not a terrible way to get your hands on new technology for a less shocking sticker price.

A previous version of this piece had the wrong display size of the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It has been corrected.

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John Warren

I miss Texas sometimes. Wheelchair person. Professional wrestling is humanity's greatest achievement. He/his, y'all.

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