apple event

Apple Introduces iPhone 7 With Overhauled Headphone System And More

by Brian Shea on Sep 07, 2016 at 08:46 AM

For gamers, perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of Apple's live event was Shigeru Miyamoto taking the stage to announce Super Mario Run. However, the broader audience was more interested in the reveal of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While rumors and leaks have been circulating for months, this reveal is the first official word from Apple.

The biggest rumor making the rounds has been that the iPhone 7 series does away with the mainstay 3.5mm headphone jack that has been around since the very first model. That rumor turned out to be true, as headphones now must be connected through Bluetooth or the Lightning port that is typically used for charging or auxiliary cables in vehicles. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus include a pair of earbuds that plug into the Lightning port. Apple also announced the ultra-portable AirPods, a new set of first-party wireless earbuds with features such as sensors that know when you place the headphones in your ears and when you start talking. 

If you want to use your old headphone that connects via the 3.5mm headphone jack, an adapter is included with each phone. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are getting stereo speakers for the first time (one on the bottom and one on the top) that put out twice the volume of the speaker found on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

The rear-facing camera stays steady at 12 megapixels and has an optical stabilizer to help unsteady hands get focused photos, a bigger aperture, a faster design, and a quad-LED flash system. The front-facing camera is also getting an upgrade on both models, jumping from 5 megapixels to 7 megapixels. In addition, the iPhone 7 Plus feature a dual-camera setup for better quality photos – one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens to allow for better zooming and depth-mapping, which owners will be able to take full advantage of through a free software update later this year.

Along the same lines of its Apple Watch Series 2, which was also announced during this event, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are water and dust-resistant. The display is also 25% brighter with a wide color gamut – something that Instagram has announced it is taking advantage of through re-tuned filters when it launches its new version later this year. 

Apple's new iPhone also comes in new high-gloss black finishes, as well as a redesigned, more responsive home button. The home button is now force-sensitive and solid-state, and can provide taptic feedback that can be programmed by third-party app developers. The battery life is also improved upon from the previous models. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus features are tied together with the A10 Fusion chip, which delivers a new level of performance. Apple showed off Codemasters' F1 2016 to showcase the gaming benefits of the A10 Fusion chip to deliver experiences that Apple claims rivals those of consoles. ThisGameStudio also showed off its upcoming Oz: Broken Kingdom, a turn-based RPG set in the world many know from The Wizard of Oz.

The iPhone 7 starts at $649 and comes in silver, gold, rose gold, black, and jet black. The iPhone 7 Plus starts at $749. The iPhone 7 features 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB hard drives, while the 7 Plus starts at 128 GB and goes up to 256 GB. Apple's new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus open up for orders on Friday, September 9 to ship on September 16.