This year marks the 10th year since the late Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world. A decade of innovation later, the original clunky device that came in only one colour has evolved into a monolithic beauty that is the iPhone X.
The development of the iPhone X (pronounced ten) has been the subject of much speculation and scrutiny since loyalists and tech journos started churning the ever-present rumour mill. Would it boast a bigger screen? Was Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive going to do away with the beloved home button? Are we finally going to get a better camera for our selfies? All the questions and whispers were put to rest last night when CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the new Steve Jobs Theatre for the first Apple event located within their new campus, Apple Park.
Besides the edge-to-edge display and increased processing power, the iPhone X also packs a bunch of nifty features that are aimed at making your life easier. Here, we round up all you need to know about the phone before it hits the stores in November.
The iPhone X comes in silver or space grey in 64GB or 256GB models, and will be available to order on October 27 from US$999 for collection starting November 3.
(All photos: Apple)
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First it was a casual swipe right, then it was placing our thumbs onto a button. Now, unlocking our phones has changed once again with Face ID. To unlock the iPhone X, you just pick it up or tap anywhere on the screen. The multiple sensors at the top of the phone – including an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector – will detect your face from any angle, day or night, and unlock it via facial recognition. Face ID is not so easily tricked, as it requires some semblance of human interaction. That means printed photos, Hollywood-level masks, and even closed eyes would not trigger a response from the phone, all in the good name of spoof-prevention. In time, Face ID will be able to learn and recognise your face well enough to recognise you, even if you decide to grow a moustache or wear a pair of glasses.
The cameras on the current iPhones while good, have always had room for improvement. The iPhone X went beyond just improving and shook it up. The 12MP dual cameras now have zero shutter lag, auto image stabilisation, and come equipped with a new feature called Portrait Lighting, a function that is not at all like the filters we currently have. Now you can give your subjects some much-needed dramatic flair to their headshots with a choice of stage light, studio light, and even contour light all in real time. Did we also mention that the front-facing camera now has Portrait mode as well? Say hello to better selfies.
“The future is about wireless”, said Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing in the keynote address. And now Apple wants you to get rid of the cable clutter on your desk and start charging your iPhone X wirelessly, alongside the Apple Watches. The glass back design of the phone allows for the universal Qi wireless charging infrastructure, and with companies like Mercedes, Bentley, and BMW supporting it already, you wouldn’t be hard pressed finding a spot to charge your phone, sans cable. Come next year, Apple is also looking to launch the AirPower, a wireless charging mat that can fit your iPhone X, Apple Watch, and AirPods.
With the vision of an edge-to-edge screen set out by the design team, something had to give, and this time it was the home button. Now instead of clicking a button, gestures are used to perform actions: Raise your phone to wake it up; swipe up to go to the home screen; swipe up and hold to go into multitasking; swipe down to access the control centre. You can also scroll through apps by swiping at the base of the phone’s screen. Siri can be activated with a simple, “Hey Siri!” or two taps of the power button on the top right of the bezel . We reckon this might take some getting used to, but no doubt the extra screen space is much appreciated for our late night Netflix binges.
Emojis are how we communicate in 2017. While forming full sentences purely with emojis is a bit too far of a stretch currently, Apple has given us 12 emojis that we can bring to life. Thanks to the same facial recognition software, you can send an animated emoji of your face to your friends via iMessage. And yes, the poop emoji is one of the dozen included. Snapchat has also partnered with Apple to create ‘Masks’ that contour to your facial muscles, cranking the filter factor up by a huge notch.