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September Apple Announcements

Hello, and happy post-summer to you! Here we are at IvanExpert world headquarters, and we notice Apple said something at Apple's world headquarters.

iPhone 7

The much awaited iPhone 7 is here, and...well...it's a lot like the iPhone 6 and 6s. It's sleeker, not that it wasn't sleek before. It's capable of faster internet and computing speeds, not that it was slow before. The cameras are better, not that they were bad before. (On the Plus model, it's actually much better, offering 2X optical zoom.)

It has a bit longer battery life than previous iPhones, which was in fact pretty bad before, so I look forward to that. Also welcome is that it's water resistant. You probably don't want to go into the ocean with it, but it should survive being poolside or caught in the rain, at minimum. This is also the first iPhone to feature two speakers, for stereo and twice the volume. They also offer more storage (yay) for about the same price as before.

Controversially, the iPhone 7 omits the headphone jack, so it only has a lightning (charging) connector; it comes with lightning Earpods, and an adapter for the standard headphone connector. But if you want to charge the phone and wear a headset at the same time, you're gonna have to go Bluetooth. (Personally, I find this to be an enormous bummer; I use a wired headset while charging regularly. Maybe some enterprising company will make a lightning port splitter.)

The iPhone 7 goes on pre-sale September 9, and is available in stores (theoretically) on September 16. It's $649/$749/$849 for 32/128/256 GB of storage; $120 more for the Plus model. Colors are silver, gold, rose gold, (matte) black, and (shiny) jet black. The 6s is still available for lower prices, as is the SE for lower prices still.

Should you get one? 

If you've got a 5s or older, then of course, get one. It's time. (You could also consider the 64 GB iPhone SE if you want something smaller.) If you've got a 6 or 6s, make your decision as to how important the camera quality, water resistance, or louder speaker is to you.

Airpods

Naturally, Apple's got a fancy new set of Bluetooth headphones to go with the iPhone 7, called Airpods. They're like the current Earpods headphones, only...missing a cord. I would lose one or both of them within hours. They come with a case that doubles as a charger, and are $159 (!).

Apple Watch Series 2

Apple updated the watch. It's more water resistant ("swim-proof"), a screen that's more visible in sunlight, built-in GPS (for running stats, mostly) and, mercifully, it's faster. However, it still doesn't do the one thing that I feel that it must: show the time all the time, without requiring to jerk your wrist. Until it does, it's going to perform a watch's essential function less well than, you know, a watch.

The Sport model no longer has a separate designation; its aluminum body just represents the cheapest option in the Apple Watch Series 2 line, starting at $369. There's also a Nike branded model and an Hermes branded model. The high-end Edition model is now a lot less expensive, with a ceramic body starting at $1,249. (Why not just also kill the odd Edition name, too, and have it all called Apple Watch?) Anyway, I'm guessing they didn't move too many of the original $10,000 Edition units, made of 18 karat gold; if you bought one, take comfort in the fact that they'll probably become collector's items.

The "original" Sport model is now called the Series 1, and it starts at $269, though it has the improved speed of the Series 2, which is no small thing. So unless you need to swim with it, run with it, or see it better in the sun, the lower price might be fine if you want a reasonably priced Apple Watch.

I wouldn't say that any of these changes will necessarily make the Apple Watch a household object. However, this might: Pokémon Go. I'm serious. If there were ever a killer app for a watch, this is it.

(September 2016)

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