Today marks Apple’s biggest day of the year. The one where CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA, and announces Apple’s newest hardware lineup to great fanfare (usually with some celeb appearances in the mix — who remembers that iconic Lana Del Rey performance?). Ahead, here’s the lowdown on everything Apple just dropped.
The rumours are true: the iPhone 11 is upon us. And it’s all about the camera, with features that will impress both content creators and regular phone users alike. The back of the phone features a new dual camera system, with wide and ultra-wide cameras that allow for a wider-than-ever field of view, especially in tight spaces. (You can also use ultra-wide in video, the demo of which elicited some audible 'whoa's' in the audience at Steve Jobs Theater.) There’s also Quick Take, a new video feature that lets you change from photo to video interchangeably without altering the frame. Portrait Mode is also getting a facelift, with a new portrait lighting effect great for photographers. But the best new feature is night mode, which turns on automatically in low-light environments. The selfie camera is getting updated too, with a wider field of view for group selfies as well as slow motion video (dubbed “Slofies” by Apple... cue all the hair-blowing-in-the-wind model videos).
As far as the look of the phone itself, notably absent on the model is the word “iPhone” on the back beneath the Apple logo. The phone comes in six new colours: purple, white, yellow, green, black, and red, with a 6.1-inch Retina display. The iPhone 11 will cost $979 CAD — making it cheaper than models past. And with Apple's trade-in deal, you can get the iPhone 11 for $399 USD or $17 USD per month (only available in the U.S.)
iPhone 11 Pro
For those who need a more heavy duty phone with even greater power capabilities, Apple is launching its first ever iPhone Pro, complete with a new display called the Super Retina XDR. As the most powerful iPhone ever, the 11 Pro can execute 1 trillion operations per second and possesses the best machine learning platform of any phone in the lineup. It also has a longer battery life than ever. And most impressively, it has a triple-rear camera (including a wide camera, a telephoto camera, and an ultra-wide camera) for professional-level photography.
With the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple is also launching Deep Fusion, a new image processing system that takes nine separate images with each photo and optimizes the pixels from each to produce the best composite image. Equally stunning is the video you can take on the Pro, which lets you seamlessly alternate between the three lenses on the rear of the phone and the selfie camera on the front. (You can even see all four fields of view in quadrants on the same screen, as presented at the keynote by Tangerine filmmaker Sean Baker, who shot his film exclusively on an iPhone.) The phone comes in midnight green, space grey, and a new gold finish, and is available in two sizes — 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches. For most users, the iPhone 11 will be a completely sufficient device, but for developers and professional creators (and users who simply want Pro-level devices), the iPhone 11 Pro will be available for $1379 CAD, and the larger iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost $1519 CAD. Preorders will start this Friday, shipping on September 20.
Apple Watch Series 5
Apple is dropping a new watch, the Apple Watch Series 5, which features a new always-on display. This means the watch face is always visible, so you can always see what time it is — especially convenient during a workout when you can’t raise your wrist to engage the screen. Also of note: all-day 18-hour battery life, a built-in compass, and international emergency calling (the latter of which you can engage even without your iPhone, just by pushing down the watch’s side button).
Apple is placing an even greater emphasis on the health features of its Apple Watch, with the announcement of forthcoming major health studies the tech company will be conducting with user data. These include the Apple Hearing Study, which measures sound levels in your environment to better monitor hearing health, and the Apple Women’s Health Study, which uses the Watch’s cycle tracking feature to detect infertility and osteoporosis. To participate in this research, you can enroll using the Apple Research app — Apple cannot access your data unless you opt in.
Series 5 is also coming in some pretty sleek new finishes — including titanium for the first time, as well as white ceramic. Also, the much-loved Hermes model is getting a very chic update. Pricing starts at $399 USD, and $499 USD for cellular models. And if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Series 3 will now be available for $199 USD. The watches are available for purchase now. Also, Apple retail stores will now feature Apple Watch Studios, where customers can mix and match bands and watches in almost 1,000 combinations to get the exact style they want.
Apple TV+ Streaming Service
Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, is finally coming, and with it, the announcement of its much-anticipated price point. To the applause of the auditorium, Cook announced that the service will cost a shockingly low $4.99 USD/month, making it a lot more affordable than many of its competitors. The first shows will be available on November 1 in over 100 countries, with more Apple Originals added every month — including The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell, and Jennifer Aniston, See with Jason Momoa, and Dickinson with Hailey Steinfeld. Apple is also sweetening the pot by giving customers one year of Apple TV+ with purchase of an iPhone, Mac, or Apple TV.
First announced in March, Apple Arcade will be available in the App Store on September 19 in over 150 countries. With the Arcade subscription, you can download an unlimited number of games, rather than buying them a la carte. New Apple-developed games will be added to the Arcade every month (including a very adorable updated version of Frogger that I didn’t know I needed, demoed at the keynote). In terms of pricing, a subscription costs $4.99 USD/month (with a free month-long trial), which gives users access to the entire catalog.
New 10.2-Inch iPad
Apple is launching its seventh generation iPad (the most popular model of the iPad lineup) — and this new one has a larger display than ever (10.2 inches), more than 3x the number of pixels than previous models, a wider viewing angle, and a redesigned home screen. But the biggest win is that this iPad’s enclosure is made with 100% recycled aluminum and weighs only one pound. Its price is $429 CAN (or $299 USD for students and teachers in the U.S.), and you can order it today.
Editor's Note: We will be updating this story as more information is released.