Today is a day that Apple fans worldwide have been either eagerly anticipating or dreading. After months of rumors about a new iPhone without a headphone jack and a new Macbook Pro with a touchpad keyboard, Apple finally unveiled what it has been working on during its Keynote event earlier today.
The event started with a look into software, starting with a look into the various apps on the App Store, before talking about the App Store’s most popular category, games.
The usual statistics were displayed to the audience, but then, something unexpected happened: a Super Mario game created by both Nintendo and Apple was unveiled. After years of having the largest game marketplace, big players are finally entering the marketplace, with game models similar to other platforms. For example, the Mario game will not be free, but will be a low price, without the need to pay for any in-game features.
However, the game itself is far from new or extraordinary, though. It harks back to the original Super Mario game, in which you can play single or multiplayer to jump green pipes, hit mushrooms for power-ups, and avoid brick walls at all costs. Even the gameplay is familiar, with an auto-start, tap-to-jump input, similar to the system used in Flappy Bird.
Sticking with the gaming theme, a Pokemon Go app for the Apple Watch was released. Now you can use your watch to know where to find Pokemon and PokeStops, and track the exercise received from catching the Pokemon.
This was used as an introduction for a push from Apple to bring native apps to the Apple Watch. Now, apps, such as Breathe, which helps you relax and meditate, can run without having to be paired to an iPhone.
To finish off discussion about the Watch, a new Apple Watch was released. Except for the software tweaks and improvements in hardware, such as improved water-resistance, the Watch looks the same.
This served as a perfect harbinger for what was to come next: the release of the iPhone 7. First off, yes, it does not have a headphone jack. To use headphones with the new iPhone, you have to buy a lightning headphone set, buy an adapter for a 3.5 mm headphone to the lightning cable, or buy wireless headphones, such as Apple’s AirPods, which are simply the heads of Apple’s wired headphones that connect to the iPhone through an intuitive, location based pairing system.
The other main design change came to the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras, each measuring a different criteria. The combination of these two cameras provides the iPhone 7 Plus with the ability to create a perfect Gaussian blur in the background of a picture. Paired with software that helps produce the greatest color contrasts possible in the images, the two camera module means that the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera produces photos with quality at a level equal to DSLR camera. On top of that, the new iPhones’ cameras will be accessible to developers through improved APIs that allow for the seamless photo quality to be accessed by all third party apps.
Sadly, the new Macbook Pro was not announced today with the new iPhone and Apple Watch. However, a new Mac Pro tower was announced, and it looks sleek, symmetric, and stylish.
No more does the Mac Pro look like Apple’s take on a traditional tower. It has exposed fans, and a cylindrical shape. It looks like a mini-rocket, about to blast off with its 2.7 Ghz processor and its whopping 7 teraflops of processing power. For me, this was the coolest release of the day. Personal computing performance has just been redefined in terms of both the performance and aesthetic experience.
So, as usual, Apple leaves its fans and “haters” with a controversial, yet comprehensive product line. Rather than looking at the sleek products Apple and others have announced over the last year with awe at the stylishness now available in technology, many are speaking out on their view on the lack of a headphone jack on the new iPhone. Instead of arguing like the thousands of Android users are about this lack of functionality, remember one thing: no matter what you think, you are spreading word about the Apple’s products unintentionally. As they do every year, Apple has shown us that they do one thing really, really well: marketing.