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iPhone 11, Watch 5 Series – Apple 2019 Event

It’s that time of year! The first week or two of September marks an exciting time for Apple users, the time we get to see the new hardware offerings! Well, this year was the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro! But, there were plenty of other things mentioned as well!


Apple Arcade

Announced earlier in the year, Apple Arcade is a premium game service. No bloody in-app purchases, no bloody micro-transactions, no bloody add-ons, no bloody thing except a great gaming experience! Across devices. Yes, any game available through the arcade service will be playable on ALL Apple platforms… iOS, iPadOS, TvOS and macOS. And the new OS versions will support most controller types, including those from Playstation and Xbox. They showed off a few gorgeous games from top developers during the keynote, and early reviews have been very positive! Then Apple dropped a bomb.


For the ENTIRE family.

NO ONE expected either of those two awesome point. An absolute killer price point for what you get, and then to have it work for the entire family.. they are being UPER aggressive with this.

Apple TV+

Also announced was the launch of Apple TV+. With big names such as Jason Mamoa and Oprah onboard, they’ve made it a compelling platform. Then they surprised everyone again, just $5.99 again, and shares for the entire family. Then they mentioned anyone who buys a new Apple product gets a year free access to Apple TV+.

You can check out trailers for some of the programs here.

Apple Watch Series 5

Another big surprise was the introduction of a new Apple Watch to go along with WatchOS 6. The big thing about the new Series 5 is an always on display… and always on for 18 hours! Using a new low-temperature polycrystalline oxide screen technology, it can vary the refresh rate of the screen between 60Hz and just 1Hz. This means massive power savings and is pretty much directly responsible for the ability to have an that always on display.

Another new feature is a magnetometer sensor package, enabling a new compass feature. Working in conjunction with the GPS, this will really shine in navigation! BUT, best not to take your fancy Milanese Loop on your backwoods hike… looks like the magnetic clasp can interfere with the sensor. For the concerned adventurer, this combination of sensors allows you to see things like elevation, latitude, longitude, and incline.

Another nice feature is onboard storage has been increased from 16GB to 32GB, making room for direct downloaded apps and more music if you like!

Another safety feature for this already safety filled device is International Emergency Calling, works on several bands and doesn’t require cellular activation to work.

All this combined with the new sound level monitoring in WatchOS 6 makes this a worthy upgrade! They also released a fantastic ad, and an incredibly touching video showing how the Apple Watch has saved many a life.

iPad (7th Generation)

A quick note, Apple released yet another iPad to add to its very confusing line up… the 7th Generation. Its a good unit though, sporting the new Smart Connector, but only a A10 processor… BUT, this means Apple will most likely support devices with the A10 for quite some time. Another good thing is the screen is NOT laminated.. going to be a very good buy for kids considering the repairs are much cheaper for this style of design!

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max

The big announcement of course was our annual refresh of the iPhone. And this year was actually pretty good! The biggest take aways were the faster processors and better cameras, but we did get a surprise with a better branding… entry levels phones will have the iPhone and number moniker, but now Apple will also have a Pro line… that also features a larger version akin to the + or Max of last seasons.

The biggest differences between the regular and Pro are the camera options and the LED screen in the Pro series.

Overall, the iPhone 11 is replacing the iPhone XR, but giving you two cameras. The new Ultra-wide lens is able to get 4 times as much photo, and you can switch between both cameras WHILE filming video. 12MP shooters can capture 4K video at 60FPS. The interface has been updated so you can see what the Wide and Ultra-wide cameras are seeing at the same time, and in fact both views are captured… so later in post you can choose your shot.

One of the nicest features of the new cameras though is the Nigh Mode. Where as Night Mode on the Pixel 3a and others simply brightens the scene, it produces a very inaccurate shot. Travel photog Austin Mann raves about he night mode,

“One thing I love about Apple’s approach to Night mode is the strategic balance of solving a technical problem while also caring deeply about artistic expression. It’s clear their team didn’t take the let’s-make-night-look-like-day approach, as some of their competitors have. Instead, it feels more like an embrace of what it actually is (night) while asking, ‘How do we capture the feel of this scene in a beautiful way?’”

iPhone 11 night mode

This is doing a lot more then increasing the light!

These cameras are pretty amazing and also feature a new advanced HDR mode, and a new High Key Portrait Lighting mode, blows out the background to white for some seriously striking photos.

A new feature has hit the front camera system, slow motion, enabling a goofy “Slofie” mode…

The iPhone 11 Pro series takes those cameras and adds another,  a telephoto lens with a 2X optical zoom. That with a screen the cruses at 800nits of light output… peaking up to 1200nits, its truly a pro version of an iPhone. One of the interesting applications was shown with an app that was capturing streams from all 4 cameras, allowing the operator to switch between each stream on the fly. This could be incredibly useful for filmmakers.

iPhone 11 & The A13 Bionic

Apple needed some serious muscle to handle these cameras, and they gave us a beast. The A13 has tech specs that are stunning, and includes some new dedicated Machine Learning cores, an Apple designed GPU and everything of course operates much faster and much more efficiently. In fact, the damn thing is so power efficient, they were able to get you up to 5 HOURS of extra battery life in the iPhone 11 Pro Max! The iPhone 11 gets an extra hour, and the Pro gets 4.

Rumor has it the system boasts 6GB of RAM… but in an interesting move… 2GB is reserved just for the cameras. They are doing A LOT with image processing in these… and the results have been stunning.

The Rest

Apple is offering the iPhone 11 in pastel black, white, red, green, yellow and purple. The iPhone Pro is offered in a new rougher finish in Space Grey, Silver, Midnight Green and Gold.

iPhone 11 colours

Both phones come with IP68 water resistance, 4MB for 30 minutes and are also resistant to other liquids than water… tea and soda for example. They are also making some boasts about durability… we’ll see how they handle in the real world.. I’m not too scared of going out of business quite yet. But the ad was great…

Price point is great for the iPhone 11, $100 less then the XR, works out to $979 CAD, the Pro starting at $1,379 and the burning-a-hole-in-your-pocket-but-worth-it Max is at $1,519.

These are very solid phones.. and its clear Apple is trying to make their products last, pre-orders are open now, and early numbers look like this will be yet another killer iPhone!

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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