iPhone 11 goes Pro: Here’s everything announced at Apple Special Event 2019

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Whew, what a show. iPhone 11 announce day has arrived and Apple didn’t disappoint in flexing some top-notch camera capabilities of their new smartphone lineup: the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. 

Keep it down there at the back, Android fanboys — yes, we know that these features have been in other phones for years already. 

Anyway, the Apple special event was held at the Steve Jobs Theatre in its Cupertino Campus Apple Park earlier this morning, with the tech giant releasing a slew of new products and services that’ll arrive very soon. Folks were more excited about the new iPhones than anything else, but the other announcements were just as exciting.

A new Apple Watch! And Apple TV+! 

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s fall lineup. 


Apple Arcade

PHOTO: Apple

Tim Cook kicked off the event with something light — Apple’s subscription gaming service. Apple Arcade is set to launch in over 150 countries on Sept 19 and will arrive with more than 100 titles to choose from. It’s $6.98 a month (but will launch with a one-month free trial) and will let subscribers play on various Mac devices like iPhones, iPads, MacBooks as well as on the big screen via Apple TV. 

That’s all fine and dandy, but what games can you actually play? Apple brought up developers from Konami and Capcom, who showed off Frogger in Toy Town — an upgraded spin on the classic Frogger — and Shinsekai: Into The Depths respectively. Acclaimed indie studio Annapurna Interactive also showcased Sayonara Wild Hearts, a rhythm-runner title with some pretty vibrant graphics and a synthpop soundtrack to boot. 

Other games set to debut include PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE, Rayman Mini and Skate City, among several others. What we’re really stoked about though is Square Enix’s contribution called Various Daylife, a brand-new RPG title from the minds behind Octopath Traveler. 

Apple TV+

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Great, here’s one more thing to subscribe to. Apple is launching its own streaming service called Apple TV+ that’ll launch Nov 1 with a price tag of $6.98 a month. The service will launch on the Apple TV app with a seven-day free trial and will also be available on Apple TV app on select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.

The content at launch seems… okay. There’s The Morning Show which features the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon; there’s Dickinson, a coming-of-age story of poet Emily Dickinson; there’s Snoopy in Space, which takes the whole Peanuts gang to (you guessed it) space. Apple showed off a trailer for See, a post-apocalyptic drama set in a world where the human population has gone blind — starring Jason Momoa at his most Jason Momoa-est. 

Oh, and you get a year’s subscription with every purchase of an iPhone, iPad or Mac. 

7th-Generation iPad

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Now we’re getting somewhere. Replacing the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad is the seventh-generation iteration of the popular device. It’s larger with a 10.2-inch Retina display and is the launch vehicle for iPadOS 13, Apple’s bat at making a desktop-worthy operating system for tablets. Both iPadOS and the new iPad are expected to drop on Sep 30 and will start at $499. 

The new tablet is compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and the (first-generation) Apple Pencil. In case it’s important to you, the iPad is made from 100 per cent recycled aluminium. 

Apple Watch Series 5

The new Apple Watch is here, and it finally has an always-on display that never disappears — meaning you don’t have to flick the watch up just to look at what time it is. 

What’s new as well in the Series 5 is that it has enough juice to last 18 hours, which Apple oddly calls an “all day” battery life. There’s a built-in compass so you can see which direction you’re facing and if you’re really lost in the wilderness, International Emergency Calling to get emergency services even without an iPhone nearby.

While there’s a bevy of health-related features included, Apple made no mention of sleep-tracking capabilities, which was a shame considering Singaporeans certainly need as much quality sleep as we can.

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Aesthetics! Apple Watch Series 5 is available in a wider range of materials, including aluminium (100 per cent recycled as well), stainless steel, ceramic and all-new titanium. 

The Series 5 drops on Sept 20 with a starting price tag of $599 with GPS or $749 with cellular. For those without that much cash to spill, the Series 3 got a price cut, and it now starts at $299 with GPS or $449 with cellular. 

iPhone 11

Time to talk iPhones. Succeeding the iPhone XR is the iPhone 11, a base-level device that’s a lot more affordable than its Pro brethren (which we’ll talk about later). 

Unfortunately, not much change in the design. There’s a 6.1-inch liquid retina display with a notch at the front for Face ID. Big bezels remain, but at least there are new colour options, including purple, white, green, yellow, black and red. 

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The changes are immediately noticeable when you flip to the back of the phone. Apple upgraded the iPhone 11 with a 12-MP dual camera setup with primary and ultra-wide lenses, which the company touts to be able to capture four times more scene. There’s Night Mode (finally) thanks to a wider sensor, and both cameras enable Portrait mode photos for people, pets, objects and more. 

The front-facing camera also got a serious upgrade — it can do 4K video and even slow-mo. Apple’s trying to make “slofies” (slow-mo selfies) happen but please, for the love of everything decent, do not help them. 

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On the inside is Apple’s new A13 Bionic processor, which the company claims is the “fastest CPU and GPU ever in a smartphone”. Battery life? An hour more than the iPhone XR, which in turn was said to last up to 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 Plus. Can’t they just lay out the duration in hours like normal people? 

At least the phone’s affordable(ish). The iPhone 11 starts at $1,149 and will drop in stores Sept 20. iOS 13 arrives the day before, by the way. 

iPhone 11 Pro + iPhone 11 Pro Max 

Let’s talk flagships. Apple has decided to slap on the word “pro” for its premium phones, and the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and bigger 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max are high-end AF.

To start, it’s a triple camera setup — a 12-MP 2x telephoto lens on top of the primary and ultra-wide ones. What this does is let the phone both zoom in and out 2x. But more importantly, the iPhone 11 Pro will get a software update that’ll allow some computational photography wizardry in the form of Deep Fusion. What the new feature does is shoot nine images, uses machine learning to analyse each to them, and fuses all of them together pixel by pixel. It’s pretty neat, actually, and the presentation showed that you can really capture every single thread in a sweater. 

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The displays are OLED, but Apple calls it a Super Retina XDR display — which will come in handy when you’re shooting stuff, especially video. Apple demoed a new version of Filmic Pro on the iPhone 11 Pro, which sports a tonne of video-recording features for maximum cinematographic potential. 

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Another apparently pro feature is that there’s fast-charging. Finally! The Pro series will come with an 18W USB-C charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box. To be fair, the iPhone 11 does have fast-charging capabilities too, but you’ll have to fork out even more to get your own fast-charging brick and cable. 

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max will be available in midnight green, space grey, silver and a new shade of gold. Prices are wallet busters with the iPhone 11 Pro starting from $1,649 and the Pro Max starting from $1,799. Big yikes, but we’re pretty sure that’s not stopping Apple fanboys from camping in front of stores when they drop on Sept 20. 

ilyas@asiaone.com

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