Wednesday, 11 September 2019 06:03

MUST-SEE KEYNOTE: iPhone 11's new cameras take centre stage as new iPad, always-on Watch, streaming and games launch too Featured


The first set of Apple's new products for late 2019 have arrived, with new iPhones, a new entry-level iPad and new Apple Watch with always-on display, alongside Apple Arcade and Apple's streaming TV service, with new iPad Pros and a new MacBook still to come, presumably in October.

Ok, Apple has launched a stack of new products today, with iOS 13 coming on September 19 in the US and September 20 for Australiana, to be quickly updated with even more features through iOS 13.1 launching on September 30 in the US, and October 1 in Australia - with iPadOS coming on September 30 in the US and October 1 in Australia.

Australians will also see the new watchOS on September 20, new tvOS presuambly due around the same time frame, and the new macOS too (still listed as coming later this year), so Apple users will have some updating to do but will be enjoying a stack of new features.

Along with software updates come new hardware updates, with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Pundits will complain that the iPhone 11 models don't come with the rumoured Apple Pencil stylus support, which is probably a relief to Samsung and its stylus-equipped Note lineup, and there's no reverse wireless charging either, as seen with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro, or with Samsung S10 and Note10 models.

For whatever reason, Apple doesn't yet think its smartphones need a stylus, and even though Apple is promising more battery life for its 11 and 11 Pro models, it would seem that giving some of your battery life up to power other people's phones, or emergency charging your AirPods or Apple Watch is something Apple doesn't want you doing - at least in 2019.

And yes, there's no 5G, but with 5G coverage being so tiny compared to 4G and 3G coverage in 2019, and with faster and better 5G chipsets to come in 2020 and beyond, we have to focus on what has been launched, with the headline features being the A13 Bionic processor that is far ahead in CPU and GPU performance than processors from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei, and billed as 20% faster than last year's A12 Bionic, and new cameras on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.

While Huawei and Oppo can claim much larger zooming capabilities than the 2x zoom on the iPhone 11 Pro, and while Apple has finally added an 0.5x ultra widescreen for photos and videos that provide an answer to the 0.6x ultra widescreen on flagship Huawei models and the 0.5x ultra widescreen on flagship Samsungs, Apple still promises the smoothest and most advanced photo and video capabilities.

Apple also proudly and justifiably boasted of the skills of its third party developers over a range of apps, but one standout for me personally was the Filmic Pro video recording app.

While Samsung removed the ability to record with the front and back cameras at the same time in its Android OS 9 update, something that irked a lot of customers who say they used the feature and have been complaining about it online at various forums, Filmic Pro lets you record with both cameras at the same time, and even lets you see and select from the views that each camera is able to offer, live while recording.

Sure, Filmic Pro isn't a free app that comes as standard, and we'll even have to wait until later this year for it to go live on the App Store, but it offers features that competing smartphones and the Android operating system aren't offering.

The iPhone 11 has two cameras - the standard camera and the ultra widescreen version, while the iPhone 11 Pro adds the 2x telephone camera to the trio of cameras that it offers, and we got to see some high quality photos and videos that were impressively taken and edited on iPhone, and for mobile photographers and videographers, the iPhone 11 Pro will especially be a very tempting purchase.

Also long awaited is a native night mode on the iPhone 11 and Pro, and it has finally arrived, with demos showing that it rivals the Google Pixel and Huawei P30 Pro night modes, although we'll have to wait for review models to see just how they all compare.

You can see Apple's own 2 minute version of its 1 hour and 45 minute keynote here:

The full keynote, which I absolutely always recommend watching, is at Apple here

Apple has also posted the event to YouTube, and you can watch it in full below - the article continues thereafter, please read on!

You can learn about the new iPhone 11 here, the iPhone 11 Pro here, the Apple Watch Series 5 here, the new iPad here, Apple Arcade here and Apple TV+ here.

iPhone 11 starts at A$1149 for the 64GB model, with 256GB and 512GB models also available at A$1279 and $1499 respectively, and the iPhone 11 Pro models start at A$1749 and A$1899 for the 5.8-inch Pro and 6.5-inch Pro Max 64GB models respectively and go up accordingly for the 256GB and 512GB models at A$1999 and $2349 respectively for the 11 Pro and $2149 and $2499 respectively for the 11 Pro Max. 

iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are available to order in Australia at 10pm on September 13, and they'll go on sale on September 20.

I'm normally at the Sydney CBD Apple Store to film the store opening and iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Apple Watch launches, but I'll be in Singapore for a software company's launch even so won't be there. Maybe I'll be able to film the launch at whatever the flagship Singapore Apple Store is, but I don't yet know - either way, there'll be the usual Apple Store fervour inside the store before the doors open, and it will, as always, be interesting to see the lines that form that the media uses to guage interest in 2019 iPhone popularity. 

Here's the iPhone 11 Pro video:

Here's the iPhone 11 video:

Apple TV+ streaming service

Apple TV+ offers a stack of original content in what looks like incredible production quality, with every expectation that the shows will be of absolute hit-level quality, and if you buy "any new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch starting 10 September" you'll get a year's access thrown in free of charge.

Otherwise the cost is A$7.99 per month, with a 7-day free trial, and you can start watching from 1 November, with a bunch of trailers for these shows available to see here

Apple Arcade gaming service

The Apple Arcade also promises 100+ exclusive and awesome-looking games for just $7.99 per month, coming 20 September, and playable on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac. The demo of a handful of games looked top-notch, Apple has really engaged with third party developers and there's no question that Apple wants its Arcade service and its TV streaming service to be absolutely massive hits.

New 10.2-inch iPad

Apple also updated the entry-level iPad, now to 10.2-inches in screen size, with pins on the back to be compatible with Apple's keyboard cover, and with iPadOS 13 offering a fully flexible desktop-level yet tablet-enhanced multitasking computing experience.

The price starts at A$529 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model and $729 for the Wi-Fi and Cellular model, and 128GB versions of each are available too, naturally at higher prices. The Apple Pencil sells for A$145, the keyboard cover is A$235, and polyurethane smart covers cost A$79 each.

Apple has full must-read details on the new iPad here, and with its dramatically upgraded capabilities, it will prompt many to question whether they need a traditional laptop or desktop, at prices cheaper than a MacBook Air, and while the price is more than cheap Windows notebooks, the performance and experience of modern computing is dramatically better with an iPad than any cheap Windows laptop, which probably still even comes with a dog-slow spinning hard disk drive.

New Apple Watch Series 5

Finally there's the new Always-On Apple Watch Series 5. It dims when not actively being looked at, but is still naturally visibly on, and still promises 18 hours of battery life.

All of the must-see detail is at Apple here, but this is going to be a fantastic upgrade for anyone with a Series 3 or older Apple Watch that wants the latest and greatest.

Prices start at A$649 for the GPS model, and A$799 for the GPS and Celluar. The Series 3 watch is still on sale for $319 for the GPS model, and the GPS + Cellular Series 3 starts at $469 - fantastic prices for those wanting a more affordable Apple Watch experience and are getting into it for the first time.

Sadly no ECG on the Apple Watch Series 4 or 5 for Australians yet, c'mon Apple and the TGA - get this feature working for Aussies, it's a real shame a whole new Apple Watch that offers this feature has launched and Australians are STILL missing out. 

Here's the very cool Apple Watch Series 5 video:

We'll have more to say on all of these Apple products in the future, but for now, despite the fact various competitors can claim spec sheet victories in different areas, Apple is still the company all others aspire to come close to, let alone ever hoping to beat.

And there's still new iPad Pro models to come, as well as the rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro, sometime in October!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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