Sunday, 02 September 2018 22:51

Apple's 2018 iPhone keynote: 13 September at 3am AEST in Australia, iPhone and Watch image leak Featured

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Late last week, the news emerged of exactly when Apple would unveil its 2018 range of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, expected new Macs and other surprises, which included leaks of two new iPhones and the Series 4 Apple Watch.

Samsung has launched its Note9 super phone, complete with built-in stylus that features Bluetooth remote control capabilities, while Nokia has launched a series of mid-range models from $149 to under $400.

There were new phones at IFA 2018, the big tech trade show in Berlin, but the big launch everyone waits for is the iPhone launch - after the newest Samsung Note and other smartphones that want to avoid launching in Apple's wake.

Now that these models are out, attention turns to what Apple will launch, and the rumour mill as well as "accidental" leaks have been running hot, while the invite image showing the round circle very reminiscent of the new Apple Park building also attracted a lot of speculation as to what else the golden circle meant. 

For those in the US, the launch date is 10am Pacific Time on Wednesday September 12, but in Australia, this works out to be 3am on Thursday September 13, and yes, I'll be up to watch and report. 

All of Apple's new phones are expected to have the iPhone X (Ten's) "notch", which holds sensors, cameras and the speaker and earpiece, across its range, with a 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch model offering OLED screens, and a 6.1-inch cheaper model with an LCD screen.

Two of the new models can be seen below, announced to the world by 9to5Mac

It's said that at least two of these models will be called the iPhone XS, as in Ten S, rather than eXcesS, which has cued a lot of memes and jokes that this name is a bit excessive.

In addition, the images are said not to be part of a planet, but a partial image of a very colourful bubble. 

The 6.5-inch model, which is meant to be the same size as the current 5.5-inch Plus models, will have its 6.5-inch screen size because the bezels are reduced to almost nothing, save for the notch, of course.

Some say this model will see 3 cameras this year, but whether the 5.8-inch model will also see a tripe camera layout is not known.

A maximum 512GB capacity is expected, and there's sure to surprises we don't truly know yet, such as rumoured support for the Apple Pencil on at least one of the models.

Meanwhile, the 6.1-inch model is only supposed to have one camera, the cheaper LCD screen and a lower price, but with Apple not known for budget models, how much lower the price will be is yet to be seen.

Rumours also suggest this model might be delayed by a month, but again, it's all just rumours, no-one but Apple's inner circle, its marketing team and its Chinese manufacturers and elements of its supply chain, plus case makers sworn to secrecy know for certain until Apple announces it on stage.

What is definite is that iOS 12 will launch, complete with a smarter Siri that can perform multiple actions at the same time, among a plethora of other features - including the cool Memoji that let you create a cartoon version of yourself. I've been using iOS 12 beta on my iPhone X and it has been great - I look forward to it being finalised, with everyone finally able to get it - especially those with older iPhones who'll get a welcome speed boost. 

We'll also get macOS Mojave, which I've been beta-testing on my MacBook Pro, in permanent Dark Mode, and this too is an excellent update I've been absolutely loving to use. 

watchOS 5 and the new tvOS will also launch, as well as a host of new capabilities for the excellent HomePods, which sound even more glorious as a pair than they do as single units, which themselves sound excellent, and easily outdo Google Home and Amazon Alexa as true audiophile speakers that put music first, but with the HomePod OS update, we'll see HomePods getting a lot smarter - with all these updates very welcome. 

Whether we'll see iCloud storage upgrades and new content bundles is also yet to be seen, but they are expected. 

Apple's new Watch has also leaked, it looks thinner, and while the square screen size looks the same, the bezels have shrunk, meaning a 15% increase in space.

The leaked image from 9to5Mac is below, shows a traditional circular clock face, the corners show "complications" in each corner, with more detail than ever before, and four more complications inside the watch face circle.

The Apple Watch has dozens of complications it can show, but in the past, you could only have a maximum of 5 at any one time.

As you can see in the leaked watch face, you can now have 8, if not 9, with the leaked watch face showing the time, a timer with a sound down curved strip that shrinks, the weather with a number and a curved strip showing the minimum and maximum temps, a UV rating with a curved strip, sunset and sunrise with text and graphics, day and date, an up coming appointment and location, astronomy, activity rings, music and volume all with more detail.

It looks very readable and non-cluttered, and that's just one face - there are bound to be many more, including the digital watch faces which also promise more "complications" and thus more glanceable data than ever.

The crown also has a red rim, rather than a full red dot, and the gold colour looks good too.

What the price will be, what the battery life will be, whether we'll see an "always on" face is all yet to be seen, but it looks like Apple's harvest for 2018 will be one if its biggest bounties yet. 

Also expected is the long-awaited wireless charging pad, faster wireless charging, the iPads getting the iPhone X/XS user interface, wireless charging capable AirPods case, independent Hey Siri functionality for AirPods and more - at least according to various rumours online. 

Finally, if we get the rumoured new Mac minis and new, more affordable MacBooks too, a lot of people will be very happy, and Apple's Christmas sales period alongside what would presumably be its biggest super cycle yet, while its competitors struggle against the Apple juggernaut yet again.

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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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