On 7th September 2016, Apple announced the new iPhone. They claim that this is the best they have ever made. A two hour keynote too long just to know the specifics of your next phone? This right here is a summary of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, no more hassle.
When Apple’s Phil Schiller took the stage to talk about their latest engineering marvel, he talked about 10 features on this iPhone.
Steve Jobs believed in the power of three. When iPhone 6s was announced, they introduced a fourth color to their collection of Gold, Silver and Space Grey. With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus however, Apple introduced two new colors. They announced the Jetblack iPhone, a high gloss finish with a stainless steel Apple logo. It looks amazing.
The second new color introduced is just called Black. This Black iPhone diffuses light, has a black logo and a matte finish.
2. Home Button
Being the only button on the iPhone screen, it is the most used one. It does a lot of tasks on the iPhone like closing apps, multitasking, activating Siri, Touch ID, double tap for reachability, and for Apple Pay.
This button has been re-engineered for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s now force-sensitive and comes with a new generation taptic engine.
This engine is more responsive, can pressure-sense many levels of pressure and gives the end user a lot more feels. Apple announced that third party developers can take advantage of this in iOS 10 and create new experiences for the users.
3. Water and Dust Resistant
It was about time an iPhone became resistant to water. To do this, the phone had to be re-engineered from the inside and develop new seals and adhesives to make it compliant to an IP67 rating.
This means it can be submerged in liquids between 15 cm and 1 metre and still work a-okay.
The iPhone has been tried and tested for 30 minutes and under 50 metres of water, that’s the least that has been approved of. So next time you see your friend stand by the pool, don’t be afraid to give him a little surprise push.
Perhaps the most beloved feature of an iPhone. This is the one feature where even Android fanboys agree that theirs isn’t better than that of their counterpart rivals. The iPhone 7 has a camera different from the iPhone 7 plus. We will talk about the 7 first.
The camera is technologically speaking, way too advanced, when compared to the other iPhones. These are all the faetures that we know of the new iPhone 7 camera.
- Improved Optical Image Stabilization – Upto 3 times longer exposure.
- Larger f/1.8 aperture – 50% more light.
- Six-element lens – to get a sharp image edge to edge without 1.8 aperture.
- 12 MP High-speed sensor – 60% faster than the previous iPhones, 30% more efficient.
- Quad-LED True Tone flash – 50% more light, equipped with Flicker sensor. A flicker sensor reads the flickering of artificial light on the screen and then compensates for it.
- Apple-designed image signal processor – the brain of the iPhone camera. It performs over 100 billion operations everytime you click a photo, and does it in 25 milliseconds.
This is what the ISP does in an iPhone.
- Reads the scene and uses machine learning to separate the subject from the background.
- Automatically sets exposure based on scenery.
- Sets focus using the focus pixels.
- Sets color with white balance.
- Captures the image in wide color gamut.
- Balances the image off with tone mapping.
- It does noise reduction.
- Combines multiple photos to render that one perfect shot.
The front camera is also improved using the same technologies that were implemented in the rear camera. The new 7 MP facetime HD camera is your perfect selfie companion. The technologies include deep trench isolation, a method which gets us sharper images as the pixels get too close together. Along with auto image stabilization, it also captures images in wide color gamut.
The iPhone 7 Plus camera is even better
The iPhone 7 Plus has two built-in 12 MP cameras on it’s rear side.
When Nokia released the Nokia 6680 phone, one of the first popular ones with a front camera, some people questioned as to why would anyone need two cameras. But the current generation of people think of it as a necessity.
The iPhone 7 Plus features two cameras on it’s rear (three in total). They’re both 12 MP. One lens is the same as iPhone 7’s, a wide angle lens. The second lens features a telephoto lens. The combination of these both lenses makes the optical zoom on an iPhone feel like that of a DSLR. Apart from all the above mentioned features of the iPhone 7 camera, the extra bonus features that can only be found on the 7 Plus are the following.
- The image produced is four times better when zoomed in 10 times.
- More light enters the lens to produce quality low-light level images.
- Gives an amazing depth of field in an all-new portrait mode.
5. Retina HD Display
Apple claims this is the best display, although Samsung phone swear by their OLED screens. The new retina HD display gives a 25% brighter display with wide color gamut. It’s cinema standard and color managed, and obviously it’s run over a 3D Touch screen. A challenging feat achieved by Apple’s engineers.
Apple introduced stereo speakers in the latest addition to the Apple family. It has two speakers, one on the top, and one on the bottom. The top one is activated when the phone is in landscape mode. In addition to this, the speakers are two times louder than that of the 6s.
Apple was rumored to remove the headphone jack in this one and they did just that. The new EarPods connect to the iPhone with the lightning connector and has a backward compatibility till iPhone 5.
If you own a pair of even better headphones than the EarPods, then fear not. Included in the package, Apple is willing to provide an adaptor for lightning port to 3.5 mm jack. Apple believes that they showed courage moving on from the 3.5mm, but this doesn’t show their confidence. By providing the adaptor, the new EarPods (with the lightning connector) are now basically waste.
Since the phone has only one lightning port, it means that you won’t be able to listen to songs while the phone is charging. Apple already has a solution for that too, the AirPods, but more on that later.
The traditional 3.5 mm jack has been adapted from more than a 100 years ago. Apple did pull off a lot of stunts. Like when they launched the first iPhone in 2007. Or more recently when they launched the Macbook with only one USB C port. With over 900 million audio devices compatible with the lightning port, Apple believes change is necessary for the better.
This is something new that Apple announced in the keynote. The AirPods. Bluetooth earphones that connects automatically to your device with just one touch.
- AirPods are wireless, battery powered earphones.
- They are equipped with the all-new Apple designed W1 chip that produces high quality audio along with consistent connection.
- Sensors on the AirPods senses when each AirPod is in the ear, without which it won’t play the audio to provide efficient battery.
- Motion accelerators in the AirPod also respond to touch, so double tapping on either of the AirPod will activate Siri.
- Voice accelerators sense the source and direction of your voice and reduce background noise with the help of an additional microphone.
- Each AirPod can play for 5 hours on a single charge. The portable case in which it comes provides 24 hours battery backup.
9. Apple Pay
This fall, Apple Pay will be introduced in more countries. In Japan particularly, Apple will use the existing technology of Felica (Japanese version of NFC) to felicitate payments. Payments can be made through Apple Watch as well.
Like every year, the flagship phone includes a new and improved chip. The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are equipped with the new-generation A10 Fusion chip. The chip is a four-core CPU with 3.3 billion transistors.
The primary source of power are two high performance cores that run 40% faster than the A9 (iPhone 6s) and almost twice as fast as A8 (iPhone 6). Here’s a graph.
The A10 fusion is 120 times faster than the first iPhone.
The other two cores are two high efficiency cores that consume only 1/5th power of the high performance cores. There is a new Apple designed performance controller which decides what applications to run on the efficiency cores and what to run on the performance cores to give the maximum battery life.
The graphics performance of the A10 fusion is 50% faster than the A9 processor and almost 3x the speed of A8. This GPU is a 6 core chip, and is all about efficiency. It delivers the staggering numbers shown below using only 2/3rd the power of A9 and half the power of A8. The graphics performance too is enhanced and is now 240 times faster than the first iPhone.
With great graphics, come great responsibility. Game developers are already taking advantage of this to build seamless games with high end graphics.