Wednesday 14 September 2016

TRE gadgets for September 2016

In this month's 'gadget guru' conversation on TRE Talk Radio Europe I talked about Apple's new products...

Earlier this month, Apple announced two new iPhones: the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Essentially one is a bigger version of the other. Apple launched them with the phrase “The Best, Most Advanced iPhone Ever”… but then they would say that, wouldn’t they?

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
So what’s changed? Well, there’s a better camera. There’s a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, which means you don’t need to hold it rock-steady to get a decent photo. There’s a larger aperture – ƒ/1.8 – which means more light can get in, so that’s a good thing for night-time photos. It’s also a better lens, so you can potentially get more detail. What’s particularly interesting is that the larger iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras – not just the 12-megapixel wide angle camera but a separate 12-megapixel camera with an optical zoom.

The iPhone 7 is water and dust resistant to an IP67 rating and it’s now got built-in stereo speakers. There’s a new processor inside: Apple is calling it the A10 Fusion and, from a customer’s point of view, it’s not just more powerful but also helps the battery to last longer. And almost inevitably, there’s an update to the operating system – we’re now on iOS 10.

As usual, you get a pair of earphones in the box… but here’s where the iPhone 7 is a little controversial. Apple’s EarPods use the special Apple Lightning connector. That’s the same connector you use for charging. There’s no conventional 3.5mm headphone jack, although you are given a headphone jack adapter, so you can still use your old headphones and accessories. And if ou want to avoid wires altogether, Apple has announced new wireless headphones called AirPods.

The starting price: a 32GB version of the iPhone 7 costs £599 in the UK – and at the other end of the scale, the iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage is £919.

But that’s not all. Apple also announced the Apple Watch Series 2: bad news for anyone who bought the original Apple Watch, because this new model is more practical and more clever. It’s now water resistant to 50 metres, so you can actually swim with it – and there’s built-in GPS for runners and cyclists. This means it can track your route without you needing to take your phone with you. In simple terms, you can use the new Apple Watch a lot more without having your phone in your pocket.

And yes, it’s got a brighter display and yes, it’s got a new chip and yes, there’s a new type of case and yes, there’s a new version of the Apple Watch operating system – which is watchOS 3, if you really care. Anyway, there are two different case sizes, 38mm and 42mm. Pricing is from £369 and, like the new iPhones, they’re available from Friday 16th September.