Apple Event – September 12
This story is part of our complete Apple event coverage
Every year brings something new, and that’s doubly true for smartphones. Summer is on the way out, and while the retreat of the sun is bad news for many, there’s a bright silver lining on this cloud: The release of a new iPhone. Apple’s iPhone 15 event is finally here, and as you might be able to tell, we’re expecting to see the reveal of the brand-new Apple iPhone 15. Rumored to be spread across four models, the iPhone 15 will introduce a new design to the cheaper models, as well as a big change for all four — a change in charging port, the first for iPhones in over a decade.
- Apple Watch Series 9
- Sustainability updates
- Apple Watch Ultra 2
- Apple iPhone 15
- Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
But the iPhone 15 isn’t the only announcement you can expect to hear today. While the new phones are likely to be the centerpiece of Apple’s announcements, you might also see a new version of the Apple Watch smartwatch, and possibly even a new model of the Apple Watch Ultra. But nothing is certain until Apple reveals it live on stage, and as always, we’re keeping an eye out for the legendary “one more thing.” Will we see something truly unexpected today, or will Apple stick to the assumed script? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Apple’s keynote announcement is already underway, but don’t worry if can’t watch it live, because we’re watching, and will have the lowdown on everything Apple announces. Keep checking here for all the details of Apple’s new iPhone 15, and everything else announced at the iPhone 15 event.
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Apple Watch Series 9
Digital Trends / Digital Trends
The event kicked off with Apple Watch news, and as expected, it’s the Apple Watch Series 9. In the last few years, Apple’s smartwatch has gone from a notification slinger to a vital part of health monitoring for millions.
The new Apple Watch Series 9 will be powered by the S9 processor, the long-rumored CPU based on the same architecture as the A15 Bionic, and Apple claims it’s 30% faster than the S8. While your Watch isn’t likely to need to run anything demanding, it makes common requests on Siri and other everyday tasks are able to be completed faster. Speaking of Siri, Apple’s digital assistant can now interact with your health data. So you can ask Siri how long you slept, or vocally log your weight to your assistant.
Your Apple Watch can now be used to find your iPhone, using ultra wideband tech, and it’ll even detect if your Apple Homepod is nearby and display possible media to start playing. The display brightens to 2000 nits, making it easier to see in bright sunlight, and drops to 1 nit for dark rooms.
But WatchOS 10 has some more important additions: Double Tap. Tap your index finger and thumb twice to interact with your Apple Watch. You can do this to interact with the primary button on any app, so it can be used to pick up or hang up any phone call, or can be used to scroll through widgets on your Watch’s main page. You can even use it to snooze an alarm, a worrying development for those of us with overactive muscle memory. This feature has been included in accessibility settings for a while, and it’s nice to see its uses expanded and highlighted for everyone.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is available for pre-order from today, and will release on September 22. It starts from $399.
Apple also took a moment to recap its drive for sustainability, named Apple 2030. with reminders that its main company building is fully carbon neutral, and run off renewable electricity. Over one hundred suppliers have also agreed to use only renewable electricity. Apple has also planed several new forests, grasslands in Kenya, and helped to rebuild mangroves. It’s also reduced its water usage by 60 billion tonnes. By 2030, all Apple products will have a net zero climate impact.
The new Apple Watch Series 9 has as many recycled materials as possible, including recycled cobalt for the very first time ever. The Sports band is also made from recycled materials. All Apple Watch manufacturing will be powered by renewable electricity, and Apple’s not just stopping there: It’s also investing in green electricity across the world to offset expected Apple Watch emmissions from user charging. Even the new Apple Watch comes in a smaller box, allowing Apple to ship more watches per shipment. All of this has made the Apple Watch Series 9 a fully carbon neutral product — Apple’s first ever.
Incredibly, Apple will no longer use leather from today. Instead, it’s being replaced with FineWoven, a recycled material that feels like suede and should helped to cushion the blow for fans. But that’s not all, Hermes and Nike’s bands will also include a large amount of recycled materials, removing yet more plastic from the ecosystem.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the step up from last year’s Ultra model. It has the new Double Tap feature, thanks to the S9 SiP, as well as the improved Siri features. The outdoors Apple Watch has an equally impressive display, which can go up to 3000 nits in brightness, and it comes with a new watchface too.
Apple is focusing on other, less extreme sports with the Ultra 2, highlighting new features for cycling and jogging, but it’s still clear the meat of the Ultra 2’s design is meant for divers and explorers. The Ultra 2 also has 36 hours of battery life, and 72 in low power mode. The case is made from 95% recycled material, and paired with a recycled band, it’s carbon neutral as a result.
Like the Series 9, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 releases on September 22, with pre-orders opening today. It’ll cost $799.
Apple iPhone 15
The iPhone 15: We all knew it was coming, but it still took our breath away. The Apple iPhone 15 was showcased in a stunning series of pastel colors, but it’s the front that’s the biggest change. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have access to the Dynamic Island, bringing the basic iPhone models into line with the Pro models of the iPhone. The Retina XDR display reaches 1600 nits (with a peak brightness of 2000 nits), making it brighter and easier to see in sunlight. The iPhone 15 has a 6.1-inch display, while the 15 Plus has a 6.7-inch display, and they have smaller bezels too.
Those pastel colors are likely to be a strong draw though. The color has been impregnated into the iPhone 15’s rear glass, giving it the diffused look of a steamed window. It’s a striking look, and not one you’re likely to see anywhere else. It’s just as pretty inside too, with recycled cobalt in the battery and recycled copper elsewhere.
The main camera lens rocks in at 48-megapixels, and it gives you some options when it comes to taking stills. You can choose between 48MP images for incredible high fidelity, or combine four pixels together with pixel binning to maximise light (and keep file sizes low). The high megapixel count means the inner 12MP of the lens can be used to spoof a 2x optical zoom. Portrait modes are getting better too, and the iPhone 15’s camera app will use machine learning to predict if a shot should be in portrait mode or not. You can also change the point of focus and bokeh blur in post-processing.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 15 will stay a step behind the Pro model where performance is concerned. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will use last year’s A16 Bionic processor, and while this is still an incredibly powerful CPU, it’s still slightly disappointing to see Apple keep the basic iPhone model a year behind. However, the battery is bigger than ever, which is always a bonus. Like the Apple Watch Series 9, the iPhone 15 has tghe new Ultra Wideband chip, so you can use it to find your friends — as long as they have an iPhone 15 too, of course.
Machine learning has been improved again, with a particular highlight being the voice isolation feature that cuts out background sound during your phonecalls. The iPhone 15 will also use satellites to get you help while you’re on (or off) the road with Roadside Assistance, so you don’t need to be worry about being stuck in the sticks without signal. You’ll get access to these satellites for free for two years with the iPhone 15.
We all knew it was coming: USB-C has finally arrived on iPhone. Apple is also releasing new USB-C versions of the EarPods, but also took a moment to remind everyone that MagSafe exists, so you don’t need to worry about USB-C if you really don’t want to.
The Apple iPhone 15 will start from $799, and the iPhone 15 Plus will start from $899. You’ll be able to trade in an iPhone from the iPhone 11 and newer to get $800 off your purchase.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
Is the Apple iPhone 15 Pro an afterthought after the huge upgrades to the iPhone 15? You can be sure it isn’t. The new Pro is made from grade 5 titanium, an alloy which is stronger but lighter than pure titanium, and a truly premium material. The brushed finish means each colorway is a stark difference to the whimsical attitude of the iPhone 15’s pastel colors. Apple has never had such a big design gulf between its two variants before. The Pro is also slighter smaller in footprint, thanks to the reduced bezels which mean the display is the same size it’s always been. As with the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.1-inch display, while the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display.
The mute switch is gone, replaced by the Action button. Push and hold the button to mute your phone, with distinct haptic vibrations for mute and unmute. But it goes even further, and you can choose from a different number of shortcuts to a press of the action button, whether you want to open the camera, or start a timer.