Today Apple held the expected iPhone event and among other things unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. These are evolutionary upgrades largely focused on camera improvements.
Physically, the main difference in the hardware is two new black colors for the case — a matte black and a glossy black named Jet Black. The latter shows that Jet Black is the new gold as it is only available in the two highest storage capacities — 128 and 256GB.
The iPhone 7 has a new camera with better optics, low light performance, and water/dust resistance. Optical image stabilization should allow better photos in low light.
The included wired earbuds connect to the iPhone 7 through a Lightning cable, heralding the end of the standard audio connection. That may be a moot point with the unveiling of the Apple AirPods.
These are wireless and have features to tie Apple products together. With only a battery capable of playing for 5 hours, the AirPods come with a small carrying case that has a battery. The case charges the pods when they are inserted into it, thus making 24 hour use possible.
Borrowing a page from the Apple Pencil book, the AirPods get a charge providing 3 hours of use in just 15 minutes. Sensors in the pods automatically turn them on instantly when inserted in the ear, and go to standby when removed.
The Bluetooth AirPods will switch to other Apple devices when you start using them.
Double-tapping either pod activates Siri rendering it unnecessary to grab the iPhone. Dual microphones eliminate background noise when talking on the pone with the pods.
The AirPods have me most excited of all the products unveiled today. If they will work with my iPhone 6 Plus I see a pair in my future when released in October (confirmed: it will work).
The new iPhone will be expensive, with the top configuration coming in at a hefty $969. This gets you a 7 Plus with a 5.5-inch display, 256GB of storage, on the Verizon network. The iPhone 7 with a 4.7-inch display will run you $849.