September means iPhone season to Apple, and with rumors about the latest edition of the flagship smartphone swirling, the company delivered everything you need to know about the iPhone 14 and other device updates during Wednesday’s Apple event.
Alongside the next family of iPhones, Apple announced interesting updates to its Apple Watch series, including an all-new premium option aimed directly at the most outdoorsy of us all, and AirPods Pro as part of the annual pattern of iteration. We’ve collected all the big announcements and everything you need to know about them below.
The next iPhone doubles down on Apple’s focus on improving camera performance, especially in low-light environments, and personal safety. Its 12 MP main camera features a faster aperture and better light sensors to allow for more vivid colors and a better ability at maintaining skin tones. The 12 MP front camera has auto focus for the first time ever, and all of the cameras benefit from what Apple is calling its Photonic Engine, which it claims doubles low-light performance. The new Action Mode boosts image stability when recording video.
The company brings crash detection to the iPhone alongside a brand new emergency location tool, the bulkily named Emergency SOS via Satellite. Users will now be able to connect directly with satellites in areas with no reception to contact emergency services and ping your location for others to track. The phone’s 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays and the promise of improved battery life round out the details. Both the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are available for preorder on Sept. 9. The iPhone 14 will release on Sept. 16 and the 14 Plus will release on Oct. 7.
A new iPhone means a new iPhone Pro; the usual place where substantial updates to Apple’s smartphone line make their debut. This year, Apple focused heavily on a new on-screen alert system called Dynamic Island. App notifications take up far less space thanks to a smaller alert animation at the top of the screen, and users can keep multiple apps running in the background at a fingertip via it as well.
The Always On Display enjoyed on Apple Watch makes its way to the iPhone series for the first time via the 14 Pro, complete with automatic dimming that helps boost battery performance while keeping the lock screen displayed. The camera array gets a big boost from the 48 MP main camera and “quad pixel sensor” for even better photos. All of this is with Apple’s promise of “all-day battery life” without any clear metrics. Both the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are available for preorder on Sept. 9 ahead of their Sept. 16 release.
The Apple Watch line has leaned ever further into health and fitness over its lifetime, and the Series 8 sees the company take one more step in that direction. The focus this time is on temperature tracking and the health of people with uteruses. The Series 8 adds an ovulation tracker to the device’s menstrual cycle tracking, helping users retroactively analyze ovulation patterns to better predict when it will occur going forward. This came with a huge privacy promise from Apple, stating that all cycle tracking data is encrypted on the device and will remain encrypted to the point that Apple cannot access it without user permission when stored via iCloud.
The new watch also features improved crash detection, up to 18 hours of battery life (up to 36 hours in low power mode) and new watch faces and bands for full customization. Apple Watch Series 8 launches on Sept. 16 and preorders are open now. The cellular version will cost you an extra $100.
The Apple Watch Ultra is the most premium offering the wearable line has seen to date. Distinctly aimed at the more adventurous outsdoorspersons, the Ultra boasts a more durable and water-resistant design. The buttons have also been tweaked for easier operation when wearing gloves. It features a redesigned compass app with a new backtracking feature that tracks your path so you always have a way back to your point of origin and a more accurate GPS to help track yourself in locations with little or no cell reception.
The watch also comes with a built-in emergency siren for when injuries or accidents occur in remote settings. The new Wayfinder watch face also packs in navigation tools and its night mode keeps the display heavily illuminated in the dark. Apple stated that the Ultra has a battery life of up to 36 hours (up to 60 hours on low power mode) and will only come in a cellular model. The Ultra is available for preorder now and is scheduled to ship on Sept. 23.
The next generation of AirPods Pro brings a number of improvements to the line, but the big news is that users can finally adjust audio volume via their little stems. The new H2 chip powers an improved driver and speaker that heighten Apple’s spatial audio promise, and noise cancellation, according to Apple, is now double the performance of previous models. The new adaptive transparency tool softens high-decibel outside noises and battery life has been extended to six hours. Throw in MagSafe charging and you have a decently sized array of improvements. The new AirPods Pro will release on Sept. 23 and preorders open on Sept. 9.