Hello, everyone. It’s the 9th of September 2016 and according to my calendar, it’s time for your weekly dose of tech news. This week’s news covers everything announced at the September 7 Apple event including the Pokémon Go news you came here for. Without further ado let’s get right into it.
Apple Partners with Nintendo to Launch Super Mario Run on iOS
If you are a 90’s kid (or even if you aren’t) you definitely know about Super Mario. The game in which you control an Italian plumber, venture into worlds and save the princess. It qualified as the first game to have gone viral in that time. Fast forward 20 years later, we have computing powerhouses in our pockets but we still can’t enjoy a good Mario game. Not because our devices can’t support it, but because Nintendo was holding back on the decision till now. Well, you will be glad to know that Mario is making a come back this fall. You heard it right. Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage at the apple event on September 7th to announce the release of the new game, Super Mario Run which hits the AppStore this December. The game will come at a one-time price and might as well become the next Pokémon Go. You basically need to control Mario’s jump in the game by tapping the screen, much like Flappy Bird or Jetpack Joyride. The game will be available on Android too sometime in the future.
Apple Announced the Apple Watch Series 2 with Updated Specs
Apple recently updated its wearable line-up with what’s being called the Apple Watch Series 2. According to Apple’s stats, in less than 18 months after shipping the Apple Watch, Apple has become the 2nd largest watch manufacturer in the world, right after Rolex. In the light of the same, Apple bumped up the game on Apple Watch. The Series 2 Apple Watch comes with a completely water resistant design. The new variant comes with the brightest possible screen on an Apple product. It’s also much faster than the previous gen. It’s strange however that they discontinued the gold version of the watch. The line-up now comprises of the Series 1, Series 2, the Apple Watch Hermes, the Apple Watch Nike Plus and the Apple Watch Edition which now comes in a ceramic white version. They’re keeping the previous gen around, but not only have they reduced the price for the Series 1, but they’ve also updated the internals to include the same dual-core processor that ships with the Series 2. Another great addition to the Series 2 is the onboard GPS sensor which will now provide accurate tracking data to fitness enthusiasts. The Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $369 and will be available starting September 16th.
Apple Announced the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus
Each year in September, fans gather in large numbers with their life’s savings to shed it on an iPhone. This year is going to be no different. The iPhone 7 is officially out and much like the leaks the redesigned product doesn’t look all that different from the iPhone 6 or the 6S. Let’s talk specs! The iPhone 7 is the first waterproof iPhone from Apple, so now you can easily take your phone for a swim. It’s powered by the latest A10 Fusion chip which is twice as fast as the previous gen. The iPhone 7 has optical image stabilization on both models. The new iPhone has a better camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens boasting a 12MP sensor. The iPhone 7 Plus has 2 of these lenses, the normal lens and the telephoto lens for optical zoom. The screen is also brighter than ever supporting Cinema standards RGB color gamut. The home button is now static with a Taptic engine built in to give you the actual button click feel. There’s stereo speakers for the first time but unfortunately no wireless charging. The new iPhone has better battery life thanks to the bigger battery pack and to keep everyone happy, they’ve killed the 16 GB variant and they all start at the 32 GB base models. Even the 6S and 6S Plus got a storage bump. The new phones use the lightning connector for audio output and Felica technology to support Apple Pay in Japan. The new iPhone starts at $649 and ships September 16th so be ready to sell off your old house.
Apple Officially Killed the 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
If you’ve been on the internet the past year, you knew we had it coming. This is real, the headphone jack is now officially dead. Thanks Apple! The justification that Phil Schiller gave for this move was courage, which has been trending as #Courage ever since. Anyways, technically the jack has been eliminated to make room for the larger battery, the new taptic engine, and the updated camera internals. Headphones will now be connected over the lightning port which is supposed to output audio at a higher quality. But what about all your headphones you own you ask? Fear not, Apple is including a dongle inside each iPhone 7 and it costs $9 just in case you lose it (and you will).
Apple Announces the AirPods : A Wireless Earphone for the iPhone 7
In order to embrace the wireless future and to cool off the heat after killing the headphone jack, Apple also launched the AirPods, which is EarPods sans the wire. The AirPods will make use of the Apple proprietary, W1 chip to easily connect to your iOS devices and the pairing process is surprisingly simple. You just need to open the AirPods case near your iOS device for it to get paired. The pairing is synced via iCloud to all your devices and switching between devices is also simple. There’s some interesting tech built into the AirPods. It uses infrared sensors to detect if it’s in your ear or not, and, you can invoke Siri just by tapping on the AirPods. The case serves as a charger which juices the AirPods for a 5 hour listen. The AirPods come in at $150 and unless you are super caring about your tech, you are definitely gonna lose one of them.
Pokémon Go Coming to the Apple Watch this Fall
And for the last piece, we’re sticking on to our weekly tradition and bringing you an Apple exclusively Pokémon Go news. On the September 7th event, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke took the stage to announce that Pokémon Go is coming to the Apple Watch this fall. Do note that it’s just going to be an extension to the game and will help you catch Pokémon while you’re busy burning that extra calorie. The app can be launched via a complication on the watch face and it will give you the details on how many miles you’ve run, how many eggs you’ve incubated and if they hatch, you’ll see the process on your watch. Not only this, the app will notify you if a Pokémon spawns near you and you can basically collect items from Pokestops in the process. It’s all a way to keep you untethered from your phone so that you can actually enjoy the real world till a monster pops up. The app will launch by the year end.