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Apple’s New iPhones, Watches and More


In this Sept. 15, 2017, photo, the iPhone 8 Plus rests on a wireless charger in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Last week, Apple told the world about its latest products at an event in California. The company presented three new iPhones, new Apple Watches, and a new Apple TV. The company is also making big changes to its stores. We will start with those.

Apple Town Centers

If a friend says he or she is going to the Apple Town Square, you may wonder where it is. It is in the same place as your local Apple store. Apple stores will now be known as "Apple Town Squares."

Apple says that much more happens at its stores than sales. People come there to do other things and Apple wants to make its stores more inviting.

Spaces will be created for learning, meeting, researching and more. The so-called Board Room will help app designers create new apps. The Forum will help people create, using photography, music and more. Customers also will be able to attend classes at such Town Squares to learn how to use Apple products.

The Avenue will feature Apple products for sale so the centers will remain a place to go to shop.

Apple Watch Series 3

At the Apple event, the company also announced its third version of the Apple Watch, the Series 3. This watch can have a cellular connection separate from the iPhone to which it is connected.

Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch Series 3

​The cellular connection is available only in some countries and with some carriers. Be sure to check whether your carrier offers a connection to the new Apple Watch if this is an important feature to you.

Note that you will have to pay your cell phone carrier a fee for the cellular connection. Check with your carrier to find out how much that fee will be.

Users can make and answer phone calls and text messages from the Watch, even if their phone is not nearby.The Watch uses the same phone number as the iPhone to which it is connected.

The Watch has an altimeter so it can better track your workout. It will know whether you are working hard to climb stairs, ladders or mountains.

Apple is also getting serious about people using Apple Watch as a heart monitor. The watch can give a warning signal if your heart rate is fast when you are not exercising.

Apple and Stanford University are studying whether Apple Watch can detect irregular heartbeats, a condition known as atrial fibrillation or AFib. Apple and Stanford plan to ask Apple Watch owners to volunteer for the study.

Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, can speak to you from the watch. Ask it a question and Siri will answer.

The price of the new Apple Watch in the US starts at about $330 without a cellular connection. A cellular connection will add about $60 to that price. Pay about $30 more for a larger version of the watch.

Apple TV

Apple also presented an updated model of its Apple TV streaming box. The company says Apple TV 4K provides new features and a sharper image with more vibrant colors.

Apple TV 4K HDR
Apple TV 4K HDR

The insides of the streaming box have been upgraded as well for faster and smoother video. This should improve the Apple TV gaming experience. At the event, Apple showed a new game called Sky being played through Apple TV 4K using a remote control that is included.

See, Apple TV, Fire TV or Roku?

The new Apple TV will also notify you about sporting events and breaking news. You can get notifications when your favorite teams are playing and see all sporting events currently being played. You can choose to see all the scores or hide them.

4K videos will now be available in iTunes. And if you purchased a movie in HD from iTunes and now it comes in 4K, Apple will upgrade your movie for free.

Apple TV 4K with 32 GB of storage will cost $175. The model with 64GB of storage will cost $195.

iPhones

Apple introduced three new iPhones:

  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are more advanced versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Their screen sizes are the same as the earlier models, with the 8 having a screen of 11.9 centimeters and the 8 Plus being 14 centimeters.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

One major change in the new phones is their glass back which permits wireless charging. That means you can rest your phone on a charging pad, instead of having to insert a cable into the phone. Of course, you can still use a cable if you want.

iPhone Charging Pad
iPhone Charging Pad

Apple says the battery life of 8 and 8 Plus is about the same as that of the Apple 7.

​The 8 and 8 Plus come with an A11 Bionic chip that is supposed to be speedy. These phones are designed for 3D games and augmented reality apps.

See Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality – What’s the Difference?

Apple showed an example of someone being at a Major League Baseball game and using the MLB app to see the stats of the players on the field using augmented reality.

The screens on these phones are more advanced with truer and brighter colors and more pixels on the display. The phones are water and dust-resistant.

The phone’s cameras have faster processors and image stabilization for better focus.

Apple showed a Portrait Lighting feature that darkens the background of the photo so all that shows is the subject's face. This feature will be available on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

Portrait Lighting iPhone
Portrait Lighting iPhone

These phones are available with 64 or 256 GB of storage space and in the colors gray, silver or gold.

Pricing begins at almost $700 for the iPhone 8 and just under $800 for the iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone X

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first iPhone, Apple is releasing the iPhone X.

The first thing you will notice when you see the iPhone X is the screen. Instead of having a border (known as a bezel in tech terms), this phone's screen is edge to edge.

Although the iPhone X is smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, it has a slightly larger screen. Its “Super Retina” display provides a richer image as well.

iPhone X Screen
iPhone X Screen

Like the 8 and 8 Plus, the X has a glass back for wireless charging. The X is also water and dust-resistant.

The camera on the X is like the 8 Plus, the iPhone X has the Portrait Lighting effect. But unlike the 8 Plus you can employ Portrait Lighting from both front and back cameras on the X.

No home button

Unlike any other Apple phone, the X has no home button. Apple says “Instead of pressing a button, a single swipe now takes you home from anywhere.”

Now, for Siri or Apple Pay, users press the power button along the edge of the X.

Face ID

Fingerprint ID is a thing of the past with the iPhone X. Instead, Apple introduced Face ID. Now, all you have to do is look at the phone to unlock it.

iPhone X Face ID
iPhone X Face ID

But you really have to look into the screen. The phone has what Apple calls "Attention Awareness." If you are not looking directly at the phone, it will not unlock.

Apple says Face ID works in the dark. It says it even works as your looks change, like when you wear a hat or glasses. It even is supposed to work if you are growing a beard.

Apple tested iPhone X with photos and masks. It says neither fooled the phone into unlocking.

The company did note, however, that identical twins can fool Face ID. So if you have an identical twin whom you do not trust, you might want to do the more traditional lock by password.

Like Touch ID, Face ID can be used with Apple Pay and third party apps for identification.

Animojis

The same tech that maps your face for Face ID on the iPhone X is also used on a new feature called Animojis. These are 12 different emojis that can move with your face so you can make them smile, frown, or do anything else you can do with your face.

iPhone X Animoji
iPhone X Animoji

You can put these animojis in text messages you send in Apple's iMessage app. You can also record a video message as an animoji.

Availability

If you want the iPhone X, you will have to wait. Apple begins taking orders for the phone on October 27. It will be available in silver or gray with either 64 or 256 gigabytes of storage.

Prices for the iPhone X begin at just under $1000.

I’m ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Caty Weaver. And I’m Pete Musto.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

For more on the event, see Apple Reveals New iPhones

Which of Apple's announcements are most interesting to you? Are the upgrades worth it to you? Will you be getting a new iPhone? If so, which one? Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

forum - n. a place or opportunity for discussing a subject

customer - n. someone who buys goods or services from a business

avenue - n. a wide street

cellular - n. relating to a system that uses radio waves instead of wires to send telephone signals

altimeter - n. an instrument used for measuring the altitude of something

monitor - n. a device that shows and records information about a condition or function of the body

streaming - adj. playing continuously as data is sent to a computer over the Internet

vibrant - adj. very bright and strong​

remote - adj. capable of being controlled from a distance​

advanced - adj. having or using new and modern methods​

augmented reality - n. an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to add digital information on an image of something

stats - n. a number that represents a piece of information

stabilize - v. to make (something) steady​

focus - v. to adjust (something, such as a lens or a camera) to make an image clear

emoji - n. a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication

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