The New York Times News Service :
Apple unveiled the iPhone X, its first premium-tier phone, at an event in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday, that included other product premiers.
(Pro tip: The X is pronounced 10, and not â€œex.â€) iPhone X has a newer screen technology known as OLED, a type of display that can be made thinner, lighter and brighter with better color accuracy and contrast than its predecessor, LCD.
The screen on the X has a so-called edge-to-edge display that takes up the entire face by eliminating the borders around the screen.
Apple also eliminated the physical home button that has been a signature on the iPhone for a decade. iPhone 8 is also here, as well as its bigger sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus.
The models include a glass body and a faster chip. Apple TV, the companyâ€™s set-top box that has never been a blockbuster hit, got an upgrade.
The device will now be able to stream so-called 4K resolution, which refers to screens with two times the vertical resolution and twice the horizontal resolution of older high-definition TVs.
Apple took the wraps off a new Apple Watch. Called Apple Watch Series 3, it has cellular capabilities. Thereâ€™s also a new Watch OS.
The iPhone X is the first redesigned iPhone in three years, and Apple says it is the blueprint for â€œthe future of the smartphone.â€ Many of the design details had leaked to the press before Tuesdayâ€™s unveiling â€” including that it would sport a new display that stretched across much more of the phoneâ€™s front, and that it would do away with the trademark home button.
Much of that turned out to be true. The iPhone X is essentially the same size and overall shape as the iPhone 7, but because the screen occupies all of the front of the phone, it is far larger than that of older models.
The screen uses a technology new for Apple (which many competitors already use), called OLED, which produces better image quality than Appleâ€™s older LCD screens.
What wasnâ€™t leaked was how Apple would integrate the new button-free design with the operating system â€” how would you navigate the phone without an actual button? Itâ€™s quite simple: You swipe.
To go home, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. To see other apps, swipe up from the bottom and pause â€” now you see the multitasking pane. Whether people will adjust to the button-free system remains to be seen.
For better or worse, Apple has used essentially the same interface for the iPhone for the last decade. Swiping is easy, but it isnâ€™t as easy as hitting a button, and it may throw some people off at first. The brand-new feature in the iPhone X that has never existed on any other iPhone is infrared face scanning.
The technology, called Face ID, uses an infrared camera system on the front of the phone to scan a personâ€™s head â€” not just the face, but the contours and overall shape â€” to unlock the phone and authorize mobile payments.
The technology works by spraying an object with infrared dots to gather information about the depth of an object based on the size and the contortion of the dots. The imaging system can then stitch the patterns into a detailed 3-D image of your face to determine if you are indeed the owner of your smartphone before unlocking it.
For Apple, Face ID has been years in the making. In 2013, the iPhone maker acquired PrimeSense, a company that developed sensors for Microsoftâ€™s Kinect, a camera system that scanned peopleâ€™s bodies so people could play Xbox games using body movements.
Face ID is a direct response to the face-recognition feature in smartphones offered by Samsung, Appleâ€™s fiercest rival. Experts have criticized Samsungâ€™s face-recognition feature, which could be tricked by holding a photo of the smartphone ownerâ€™s face in front of the camera.
The new iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus include a six-core processor that will handle more complex tasks and 3D games more quickly and efficiently than previous iPhones.
The phones generally look the same as their predecessors, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with the exception of glass bodies, as opposed to aluminum.
Apple improved the phonesâ€™ cameras with new sensors and added new motion sensors to better support applications made for augmented reality, which use data to digitally manipulate the physical world when people look through a smartphone lens.
In particular, the dual cameras in the iPhone 8 Plus take photos with sharp details in low light. Apple also added a new portrait mode to improve the lighting on faces regardless of the background.
Another notable new feature is the introduction of magnetic induction to the iPhones. Similar to Apple Watch, the iPhones can now be charged by being placed on a charging pad as opposed to being plugged in with a cable.
The new iPhone 8 line will be one of the most important for Apple. Wall Street analysts have estimated that more than half of iPhone buyers will buy the 8 and 8 Plus over the next year.
The models have a slightly higher starting price than their predecessors: The iPhone 8 starts at $699, up from $650 for older iPhone models.