What to expect from Apple’s iPhone 7 launch event

What to expect from Apple’s iPhone 7 launch event

Just hours from now, Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 7 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. So what can we expect to see in the latest version?

Models

Based on rumors from the industry and some fairly plausible leaked information, it seems that there will be two versions of the next iPhone, a standard one and a larger ‘Plus’ model. Apple is also expected to skip the 16GB onboard storage option and start with 32GB for the iPhone 7, going up to a massive 256GB. That’d be nice to see: 16GB isn’t enough for anything, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

Audio

There’s a lot of confusion about the audio experience the iPhone 7 will offer. We’ve heard that it will ditch the headphone jack, and also seen reports suggesting that it will support Lightning EarPods and offer a 3.5mm jack. Plus, there’s been talk of wireless AirPods that might come bundled with every handset.

Hardware

The next iPhone is also expected to up its photography game with dual cameras that offer optical image stabilization. The high-end version might have a Smart Connector for plugging into accessories like keyboards, and also sport a second speaker grille.

Wondering what the iPhone 7 might look like? Unbox Therapy received a physical mockup of the device, which you can see in the video below. It’ll be fun to compare this to the actual device once it’s unveiled.

The next iPhone might also come with IPX7 waterproofing, which will put it on par with the Apple Watch in terms of resisting water damage and help it survive a drop into a puddle or stream. It may also feature a pressure-sensitive home button that brings 3D Touch functionality and negates the need to actually press down on it.

That’s not a sure thing, though: Other reports suggest that the iPhone 7 will ditch the home button to cut down on the size of the bezel surrounding its screen; here’s how that could work.

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What I’m especially hopeful for is this discreet Space Black finish that’s rumored to arrive as an option. The device is expected to arrive in stores on September 16.

Apple Watch 2

Apple is also slated to reveal the Apple Watch 2; the successor to the company’s first smartwatch is rumored to have standalone GPS and a larger battery, but it apparently won’t support its own SIM card and allow you to leave your phone at home.

iOS 10

The latest iPhones will likely herald the public launch of iOS 10, which has been available in beta for the past couple of months. It brings a new space called ‘Home’ to view and manage all your HomeKit devices, as well as the ability to adjust multiple devices grouped into ‘Scenes’ at once.

Siri will also get a boost, as the voice-activated personal assistant has been upgraded with support for extensions to plug into other apps and services. You’ll be able to do things like request a Lyft with just a voice command.

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The interface will allow you to preview your notifications by simply raising your phone, use 3D touch to interact with notifications and adjust audio settings from the Control Center.

In addition, iMessage is also being overhauled to support rich link previews for images and video, and also display large emoji. Users can also react to individual messages and insert emoji quickly using the baked-in advanced keyboard.

If you take a lot of pictures, you’ll be glad to know that Apple Photos is getting the ability to automatically create slideshows, and a ‘Memories’ feature for looking back at old images.

iOS 10 will also warn you when you connect to an Wi-Fi network that could allow hackers to snoop on your online activity, and allow you to request medical records and have them delivered straight to your iPhone.

If you can’t wait to try these new features, you can grab the public beta and check them out right now.

watchOS 3

Apple Watch users will be able to take advantage of new functionality in watchOS 3, which the company says is 7x faster than its predecessor. The smartwatch will also feature a dock-like interface and a new control center that should make it easier to navigate between apps and adjust settings.

Apple Watch
Credit: Apple

Plus, Messages will have the option to use ‘smart replies’ to quickly respond using a few canned responses that Apple deems appropriate based on the text of your message. You an also quickly add your own by scribbling them, one on top of the other, to respond.

The release of watchOS 3 should also see the adoption of Apple’s new API that brings Apple Pay to the smartwatch operating system; that will allow you to make payments without needing to grab your phone at physical terminals.

If even half of these rumors are true, the iPhone 7 will most certainly be worth a look. However, it seems like it’ll be more of an iterative update than a substantial redesign, so if you’re rocking an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you might want to hold onto it for at least another year.

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