Each September, tech editors and content creators from all over the world travel to Cupertino to attend Apple’s fall keynote, which empirically announces the launch of brand-new iPhones, watches and sometimes, AirPods. Ahead, we set the record straight, live from Apple Park.
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iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
Arguably the biggest announcement at this year’s keynote, the brand-new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s most sophisticated smartphone yet. At the glance, Apple’s newest iPhone Pro models will feature the first-ever 48MP camera on iPhone, Always-On display, Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via satellite and an all-new notification display called Dynamic Island.
iPhone 14 Pro (6.1 inch) and iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7 inch) comes in an immaculate surgical-grade stainless steel and textured matte glass design in four shades—space black, silver, gold, and deep purple. Both models also now include a Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion—similar to the Pro Display XDR—making gaming and video-watching a much more enjoyable experience on iPhone. And with the new Always-On display, the Lock Screen becomes even more useful with time, widgets and Live Activities available at a glance.Both models will continue to offer the Ceramic Shield font cover to protect them from accidental spills and provide dust resistance.
New Features For Photo
Powered by Apple’s A16 bionic chip, the camera on Apple’s newest iPhone Pro line-up boasts an impressive 48MP main camera, a quad pixel sensor, Photonic Engine and an enhanced image pipeline that significantly improves low-light photos. Photonic Engine essentially increases image quality by applying Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process, resulting in a photograph with greater details, textures and colours.
The quad-pixel sensor also increases image quality. Through a new machine learning model designed specially for it, the iPhone will now be able to shoot ProRaw at 48MP—a remarkable feat that’ll enable professionals to capture pro-quality images with greater details than ever before. In other words, you’ll now have a truly professional-grade camera in the palm of your hand.
New Features For Video
Video content creators will also be delighted to learn that Cinematic mode will now be available in 4K at 30 fps and 4k at 24 fps. There’s also a new Action mode which renders the use of a gimbal unnecessary. Simply active Action mode to achieve glorious, smooth-looking videos that adjust to significant shakes, motions and vibration. Basically, you’ll now be able to create better, more cinematic videos on-the-go than ever before using an iPhone. Another feature new to the iPhone Pro line-up is the ability to shoot at 2x Telephoto. Previously, only 0.5x, 1x and 3x were available.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max introduces Dynamic Island—a new way to interact with iPhone that combines both hardware and software to display important alerts, notifications and activities. This feature also prompted a redesign of the TrueDepth—or front—camera to take up less screen real estate. Dynamic Island also provides users with easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold. Background activities such as Maps, Music, timer and other third-party apps will remain visible and interactive with this feature. For example, ride-sharing and sports scores with Live Activities can take advantage of Dynamic Island.
Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite
The entire iPhone 14 line-up introduces a brand-new safety feature that can provide emergency assistance when needed most: Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite. Equipped with a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone will be able to detect a severe car crash and automatically contact emergency services when a user is either unconscious or unable to reach their device.
This feature builds upon existing components like barometer, GPS and microphone to detect severe car crashes using Apple’s advanced motion algorithms perfected using over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data.
Another notable feature introduced in the iPhone 14 line-up is Emergency SOS via satellite. It combines customs components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite enabling messaging with emergency services while outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.
What’s more impressive is that this feature also tells you which direction to point your iPhone at for best connectivity, and is preloaded with quotations and answers to best assess these emergent situations. It’s perfect for those who enjoy hiking or camping off the grid. The only caveat is that this feature is only available to users in the US and Canada starting in November, and will be free for two years.
iPhone 14 Pro (starting at S$1,649) and iPhone 14 Pro Max (starting at S$1,799) are available for pre-order will be available in Singapore beginning Friday, September 16. Click here for more information.
Apple Watch Ultra
Just when you think Apple has the best smartwatch on the market, it introduces a revolutionary iteration unlike any other. The brand-new Apple Watch Ultra is inspired by the most extreme activities, and is specifically designed to support users during those times. It comes in a 49mm titanium case and features a flat sapphire front crystal that reveals Apple’s biggest and brightest Watch display yet.
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There’s also a customisable Action button that offers instant access to an array of useful features. And that’s not all. The Apple Watch Ultra will have a battery life of up to 36 hours on a single charge—and 60 hours, if you enable low-power mode. It also comes with three new bands: Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Band—each specifically designed for different adventures.
For the first time ever in an Apple Watch, this savvy device will feature a dual-frequency GPS which integrates both L1 and L5 frequencies as well as brand-new positioning algorithms. In other words, the Apple Watch Ultra will offer the most precise GPS of any Apple Watch to date, offering users the most accurate distance, pace and route data for training and competing.
Optimised For Athletes
Powered by watchOS 9, Apple Watch Ultra also offers: New advanced running metrics such as Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation and Running Powers; and new Workout Views like Segments, Splits, and Elevation.
The Action button will allow users to instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next part of a Multisport workout. This button can also be used to mark segments, which complements the new Track running experience that automatically provides the ideal pacing and distance estimates for runners.
Optimised For Ocean And Water Sports
Apple Watch Ultra is the perfect watch for water sports—including extreme activities like kitesurfing and wakeboarding as well as scuba diving to 40 metres with the new Oceanic+ app. Apple Watch Ultra is certified WR100 to support these underwater adventures. It’s also certified to EN 13319—an internationally recognised standard for dive accessories which includes depth gauges. At a glance, the Depth app displays time, current depth, water temperature, duration underwater and max depth reached. The Action button can be programmed to instantly launch the Depth app, making things a lot easier.
Apple partnered up with Huish Outdoors to create the brand-new Oceanic+ app, turning the Apple Watch Ultra into a highly capable dive computer. The Oceanic+ app will be available on the App Store later this year. It’ll run the Bühlmann decompression algorithm—including dive planning, user-friendly dive metrics, visual and haptic alerts, no-decompression limit, ascent rate, and safety stop guidance. The app will also offer a personalised user profile, reports on current and local dive conditions as well as a dive logbook that can be shared with friends and family. It also automatically syncs to your iPhone.
Apple Watch Ultra (S$1,199) is available for pre-order and will be available in Singapore beginning Friday, September 23. Click here for more information.
AirPods Pro With H2
There’s a new AirPods Pro in town, this time powered by Apple’s H2 chip. Built into a lightweight and compact device, the brand-new AirPods Pro offers twice as much noise cancellation than its predecessor and an improved acoustic experience. It also now comes with a new low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier, resulting in richer bass and crystal-clear sound across a wider range of frequencies. The second generation of AirPods Pro also introduces a new, extra small ear tip for greater in-ear fit.
The second generation of AirPods Pro now comes with Touch control. A light swipe up or down the stem allows you to quickly make volume adjustments. You can also press the stem to change music, answer phone calls and ask Siri anything. It also comes with a new and improved built-in skin-detect sensor that accurately turns on or off playback, delivering better battery life.
Furthermore, you can use Personalised Spatial Audio for a listening experience tailored specially for your ears. Everyone perceives sounds differently, based on the size and shape of their ears and heads. This feature allows you to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio using the TrueDepth camera on iPhone. This new function works across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
New Charging Case
The AirPods Pro with H2 also comes with a new and improved charging case, which is sweat and water resistant. It also includes a lanyard loop for easy access. Similar to other Apple devices, the new AirPods Pro offers Precision Finding so users can always locate it with ease. The charging case now has a built-in speaker which’ll deliver lounder tones, making it even easier to locate.
AirPods Pro (S$359) is available for pre-order and will be available in Singapore beginning Friday, September 23. Click here for more information.
*This article has been updated.