The iPhone 7 Has Been Announced — Here’s What You Need To Know

Photo: Apple.
Today in San Francisco, Apple finally unveiled its newest smartphone: the iPhone 7. While we've known the details around some of its best software features since Apple's developer conference in June, we haven't known exactly what the new iPhone would like look like…or whether it would have a headphone jack.

Now, we know that some of those rumors are true. For the first time, the iPhone is waterproof (or at least water-resistant). It also has a better camera, whether you're looking to take gorgeous landscapes or close-up selfies. And the home button is decidedly different from what you're used to in previous iPhones.

But that's not all that Apple introduced this morning. (You haven't forgotten about the Apple Watch, have you?) Read on for the four most important things you need to know from today's event.
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Photo: Apple.
iPhone 7

The new iPhone 7 has one major feature we've been waiting for: It's water- and dust-resistant. That's partially thanks to a redesigned enclosure. The glass and the aluminum casing on the iPhone 7 is completely seamless, and (as rumored) the home button has been revamped to be force sensitive and uses a "taptic engine" to deliver the sensation that you're pressing a button (this is the same process used on the Apple Watch, and on recent MacBooks). Unlike previous iPhones, it's also got stereo speakers — one at the top of the device and one at the bottom.

On the back, it's got an incredible 12-megapixel camera with built-in image stabilization. It includes a larger f/1.8 aperture lens, which lets in 50% more light than the lens on the iPhone 6s, and also has a faster processor — it's 60% faster than before, and 30% more efficient. On the front, the iPhone 7 has an updated FaceTime HD camera that's now 7 megapixels (up from 5 megapixels).

On the Plus, it's got not one, but two 12-megapixel cameras: one that's wide angle, and one that's telephoto. This lets you take normal photos (with the wide-angle lens) or photos with a 2x zoom (using the telephoto lens). And with both of these cameras combined, you can now zoom up to 10x on an image, and Apple says the quality is four times better than that software zoom was on the previous iPhone. iPhone 7 Plus users will also get an update later this year for a new depth-of-field photo effect that delivers professional-looking images.
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Photo: Apple.
As for performance, its four-core A10 fusion chip inside delivers 40% faster CPU processing than the iPhone 6s (and its twice as fast as the iPhone 6), and its six-core GPU is 50% faster than the 6s (and three times faster than the iPhone 6). Regarding battery life, an iPhone 7 will last two hours longer each day than your iPhone 6s, and the 7 Plus will last an hour longer than the 6s Plus.

And one less anticipated rumor also came true today — the headphone jack is gone. Now your EarPods will plug into the Lightning port (and a new iPhone will come with those in the box). If you want to use your old headphones, you'll have to use an adapter. But, the good news is this adapter is included in the box with an iPhone purchase, as well.

The iPhone 7 will start at $649 and comes in gold, rose gold, silver, black, and jet black colors. It starts with 32 GB of storage. The iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769 and 32 GB. And if you're looking for a new phone, but not the iPhone 7, older models including the iPhone SE, 6s, an 6s Plus will also start with 32 GB of storage. Pre-orders for the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus start Friday, September 9 and start shipping September 16, and the latest version of iOS, iOS 10, will come out September 13.
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Photo: Apple.

Apple also introduced a new product today, wireless AirPods. These wireless earbuds connect with your phone automatically with your phone and Apple Watch. They use IR sensors to detect when they're actually in your ears, and don't play music until then. You can double tap the AirPod to access Siri, and when you start talking, they use beamforming microphones to pick up your voice. They offer five hours of listening, and its charging case delivers 24 hours of total listening before it needs to be plugged in.

Beats is also using this technology in three headphone models, the Solo 3 Wireless, Powerbeats 3 Wireless, and the Beats X.
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Photo: Apple.
Apple Watch Series 2

Apple introduced the Apple Watch a year and a half ago, and now we get its first major update: Apple Watch Series 2. It fills in a lot of our wish-list items that the original watch didn't check off.

One of the biggest changes between it and the first Apple Watch is that it's swim-proof (it's waterproof to 50 meters, the industry standard). It also includes GPS, so you can go for a run or bike ride and leave your phone behind. Its screen is twice as bright as the one on the previous Apple Watch, which should make it easier to see in bright daylight — and its GPU inside delivers double the graphics performance of the original watch, too. Like the original Apple Watch, it comes in cases of aluminum and stainless steel, but also adds a white ceramic model. It's priced at $369.
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Photo: Apple.
Apple also introduced a collaboration with Nike — the Apple Watch Nike Plus. Designed specifically for walkers and runners, it gives you access to the Nike Run Club app, and helps keep you get motivated to run. It's available in four colors, and starts at $369.

The original Apple Watch, now updated with the same processor as in the Series 2, is now called the Series 1 and starts at a more affordable $269. You can pre-order the Series 1 and Series 2 beginning September 9, and they will go on sale on September 16. The Nike edition watch will go on sale in late October.
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Photo: Apple.
As for its functionality, with Watch OS 3.0, which Apple previewed at WWDC in June, you'll be able to do a variety of new things on your watch. This includes instant launch, which launches your favorite apps more quickly; a dock for storing those apps for easy access; and quick replies for messages (including the ability to write out a message on the watch's screen).

The Apple Watch also got an important app addition: Soon, Pokémon Go will arrive on Apple Watch. Your watch will vibrate when you come upon a PokéStop so you don't miss it, and you can swipe on the screen to collect items there.
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Photographed by Christina Bonnington.
Mario on the App Store

Perhaps not the day's biggest news, but if you loved playing Super Mario Bros. growing up, now you can finally get Nintendo's popular game on your iPhone, too. Starting today, you can download a new game called Super Mario Run. Like many other popular iOS games, it puts Mario in an "endless runner"-style world. And interestingly, the game is totally free — zero in-app payments.

Nintendo is also releasing a second title for iOS, Toad Rally. In this game, you can battle your friends asynchronously (that is, not in real time) by playing against their high scores.