Apple’s fall keynote brings iPhone, Apple Watch upgrades

My latest Techspotting segment for KITV, where Maleko McDonnell and I discuss Apple’s fall keynote, which is like Christmas morning for Apple fans. This year Apple announced a reduced price for the iPhone, and better cameras and battery life for the iPhone Pro. Also, the Apple Watch Series 5, and aggressively priced services like Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.

Q: Apple’s fall keynote is Christmas morning for many tech fans. What did Apple unwrap yesterday?

A: As usual, Apple announced a lot of new stuff, too many to cover in three minutes. But while Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade are interesting from a services point of view, the headlines are again all about the hardware. We got the annual upgrades to the iPhone line, a new Apple Watch, and a new iPad.

Q: The iPhone is the world’s top selling smartphone, but as we asked last time we saw you, how much better can any phone really get?

A: It’s true that we can’t expect anything transformative at this point, but I’d say the iPhone 11 — no more ‘X’ — has major improvements in two of the most important features in a smartphone: the camera, and the battery. The new iPhones will have four to five more hours of battery life than last year’s model, thanks to a new A13 processor and a new, brighter OLED screen. And I’m personally excited about the camera, the reason why I update every year, and definitely this year. Now there are three optical lenses, the regular wide angle and the telephoto, but they’re adding a super-wide lens with a 120 degree field of view, meaning some pretty cinematic images and videos will be possible. The cameras will be better in low light, and both the front and rear cameras will be 12 megapixels. They’re doing a lot more with those cameras on the software side as well.

Q: What’s new with the Apple Watch?

A: The last update, the Series 4, was a pretty big upgrade, with a larger screen and the ability to run EKGs. But Apple surprised me announcing the Series 5. The big news with the next Apple Watch is an always on display. Meaning, you don’t have to raise your wrist or tilt the watch to get the screen to turn on. You’ll be able to see the time anytime. This comes with a new screen allowing ultra-low power display. Apart from that, they’re adding new body styles, adding white ceramic, titanium, recycled stainless steel. They really pushed the health features of the Watch, and if you can seek out the video they showed of real people who say the Watch saved their lives, it’s quite poignant.

Q: Anything else stood out to you?

A: Well, apart from an upgrade to the base level, $329 iPad, which includes a bigger screen, everything else was on the services side. I think the big news there is that Apple’s streaming video service, with tons of original content, will be priced at $4.99 a month, which is pretty aggressive versus Disney+ and Netflix and Hulu. They also showed a preview for a post-apocalyptic dramatic series starring Jason Momoa. And Apple Arcade is also priced at $4.99 a month, and will allow unlimited access to over 100 games for an entire family, with brand new titles from gaming veterans like Capcom and Konami.

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