Yesterday evening the tech world stood to attention as Apple unveiled a new generation of devices, with the iPhone X taking centre stage.
The new device is already causing a stir, mainly due to its hefty price tag of £999.
But as well as the iPhone X, Apple also unveiled a whole host of other devices - including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as a new Apple watch and a TV.
Here's a rundown of all the new products, how much they'll cost and when you can pre-order them.
Price: 64GB and 256GB models start at £999 for 64GB, and go up to £1,149 for 256GB.
Availability: You’ll be able to order an iPhone X from Friday, October 27, with availability beginning Friday, November 3.
The iPhone X is all about two things - a screen that fills the full face of the phone, and a new array of miniature sensors clustered around the phone’s front camera which makes some headline features work. Chief among those is the ability to unlock the phone with your face - yes, this is a phone that can recognise you. Apple went to great lengths in its reveal of the X to point out that you cannot fool this phone with a photo, or even with a mask. To unlock it you wake it by lifting it up, then it uses its front facing camera - which Apple is calling a TrueDepth Camera System (as well as a camera it also features a dot projector, an infrared camera and a flood illuminator) - to check it’s you and unlock the phone. Swiping up takes you to the home screen - there is no button.
The TrueDepth Camera System makes a couple of other cool things happen, too. You can use the iPhone’s Portrait mode, which can simulate the kind of blurred background you can usually only get with a big DSLR camera, with the front facing camera as well as the back. And it also lets you capture animated emojis - Apple is calling them Animojis - and send them as messages. So you can control an emoji with your own expressions, and record a quick message in which the emoji will mirror your facial movements and appear to speak your words. There are some other fairly minor advantages the X has over the 8 and the 8 Plus - both rear cameras have image stabilisation. The X also has a bigger screen than the iPhone Plus size at 5.8in, although, because the screen has no border, the X itself is quite a bit smaller than a Plus.
Like the 8, the X imports TrueTone technology for the screen from the iPad Pro - it matches the tone of the screen to the ambient lighting. The result is much easier on the eye.
Register for updates on pre-orders here.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
Price: £699 (64GB) and £849 (256GB) for an iPhone 8, while iPhone 8 Plus will cost £799 (64GB) and £949 (256GB)
Availability: You’ll be able to order iPhone 8 and 8 Plus from Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22
The X has all the new features of the new iPhone 8 Plus, and then some. But the 8 itself is a formidable device. At its and the X’s heart is a brand new chip that Apple is calling the A11 Bionic. It’s much faster and much more power efficient than its predecessors. The 8 has a new design, too, with a glass back as well as front ( the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, Apple says) - and this allows Apple to include wireless charging for the first time for both the 8 and the X, although you’ll have to buy a third-party charging dock to use it. Apple offered a sneak peek of a new charging solution - AirPower - a charging mat that can charge more than one Apple device at a time (something which is not possible now). But this will only be available next year.
The Plus model adds another layer of magic to its Portrait mode with a new feature (also available on the X) called Studio Lighting. Basically, this means the phone is able to analyse your Portrait mode image, and use software to replicate the kind of lighting a pro photographer would use to make the most of the image. Apple is making a big play for Augmented Reality on its phones, too, and highlighted how its devices were optimised to make the most of its new AR Kit software that will ship when the new iPhone and iPod operating system, iOS 11, is released. Neither the 8 nor the X are waterproof and retain the same water “resistance” of the 7.
Register for updates on pre-orders here.
Apple Watch Series 3
Price: £329 for a 38mm GPS version without mobile connectivity, and from £399 for a version with both GBS and mobile connectivity. The 42mm version costs from £359 (GPS) and £429 (GPS and mobile connectivity).
Availability: You can order Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) beginning Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.
There’s a new Apple Watch on the way, and the big news is that it can make phone calls even when it’s out of range of its companion iPhone. Yes, it has a mobile radio built in - although you do still need to pair it with an iPhone to use it. The Series 3 looks exactly like the Apple Watches that went before it, and also boasts all-day battery life, even with the new features. But the new mobile connectivity feature will allow users to still be connected to the internet in places they do not want to take their phone - like at the beach or while swimming.
You can also stream music via the watch - 4m songs streaming on your wrist, as Apple puts it. The new watchOS 4 will also bring to Apple Watch new heart monitoring features, allowing you to quickly see what your resting heart rate is, and how quickly your heart rate returns to normal after exercise. The Watch will also now warn you if your heart rate spikes while you are not exercising, and look out for unusual heart rhythms, too.
Apple TV 4K
Pricing: £179 for 32GB or £199 for 64GB, 32GB at £149.
Availability: You can order both Apple TV 4K models beginning Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.
If you have a fancy Ultra HD TV, and you like the Apple TV, you might need the latest upgrade. The new 4K Apple TV, obviously, can stream video in 4K, but the power required to do that also makes it a better gaming device than its predecessor - the new Apple TV is powered by the same chip that powers the iPad Pro. The 4K story is completed and Apple will be selling 4K versions of content on iTunes for the same price as regular HD stuff. Better still, if you have already bought HD, they will be upgraded to 4K for no extra cost.
The new Apple TV will also bring the TV app, which up to now has only been available in the US, to the UK. And with it will come more UK-based TV content. At the moment we have Netflix, the BBC iPlayer, and Sky’s Now TV, among others, but Amazon Prime Video, the ITV Hub, My5 and others are on the way - which will make the Apple TV a much more compelling offer for UK audiences. More details about which TV services will be available will come as the TV app nears launch later in the year.