In a series of video announcements today, Apple released the latest versions of their popular Apple Watch and iPhone series of products, including the Series 9 Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro. The devices we use, whether we rely on them intentionally or not, are here to help us. Watch and iPhone are looking out for us. Apple opened with stories of people whose lives continued because of their iphones and watches, and it was a touching way to remind people of what matters to them about their personal devices.
The new Apple Watches are based on an updated version of Apple’s custom silicon system-in-a-package called the S9, and it features 2nd generation Ultra-wide band technology, a drastically increased Neural Engine for on-device machine learning models allowing Siri to operate on the device itself without relying on cloud infrastructure, and support for a new hand gesture called Double Tap to allow single-hand operation of the watch.
In addition, Apple has pushed forward their environmental impact changes, and the Series 9 Apple Watch is now fully carbon neutral, including offsets for the energy that you use to charge the new devices. Apple’s focus on key usability and power increases are often offset by increased costs to the device, but this year’s new models are priced the same as previous generations of the product, while also maintaining industry-leading battery life.
This year’s models of iPhone feature a couple major improvements in durability and repairability to the glass surfaces of the devices, including a new “Ceramic Shield” coating to help prevent scratches and breaks.
New Pro and Pro Max models of the iPhone 15 sport titanium and aluminum bonded frames, for an increase in tensile strength and durability, while also being more than half an ounce lighter than previous models. The A17 Pro processor in the Pro models also sports a chip with a 3nm process, including transistors that are just 12 atoms of silicon wide! This allows Apple to sport increased performance (10% CPU, 20% GPU, now with 6 cores) while still keeping their all-day battery life with an always-on display.
Apple additionally announced release dates for iOS 17 - September 18th - and macOS 14 Sonoma - September 26th. Apple’s next generation of operating systems feature major productivity boosts for end users throughout. We’ll be talking more about those once the operating systems have been released.
As for what I took away from today... The Ultrawide Band chips were my siren song, along with the new gesture support, so I will be trading my Ultra for an Ultra 2, and my iPhone 14 Pro Max for an iphone 15 Pro Max over the next few weeks.
Overall, a solid upgrade for Apple users on their most personal devices.
What are you upgrading your life with this year?
Interestingly, the chatter I'm hearing isn't so much about the tech (although there's a little of that)...it's the sustainability and environment pieces. What did you think of those?
Although someone did mention immediately buying an Ultra 2 watch.
I'm probably going to upgrade my 12 Pro Max for a 15 Pro Max at some point and hand it down to a kiddo. And then that will get handed down to one who's finally hitting teenager-dom (which is when sibling #1 got a phone).
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