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Apple’s Shiny New Objects Feature Safety First

Apple just released the iPhone 14 a few days ago with all the fanfare you’ve come to expect from the wizards of Cupertino. In introducing a new Apple Watch 8 along with the iPhone, Apple touted a host of safety and women’s health features. If you missed the Apple Event, you can watch it here. But if you don’t have time to go through all the hype about Apple’s new devices, software upgrades and subscription offers, here’s our take on the announcements.

iPhone 14

The family of iPhone 14 models have added a couple of significant safety features: Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite. Without getting into the weeds of the software behind it, Crash Detection analyzes a gazillion data points to determine if a car, SUV or pickup truck has had a frontal, rear or side impact or a rollover. It then notifies emergency services and emergency contacts. The new Apple Watch 8 and SE models share this capability.

Emergency SOS enables you to use a satellite link to communicate when no cellular service is available. It shows you where to point your phone to reach a communications satellite, and its data use for text messaging has been compressed for faster transmission. The text service uses a series of questions for you to answer to help responders find and treat you. It’s a subscription service, but Apple is giving everyone two years for free.

As for the WOW features, Apple has loaded them in. New camera features give you a larger sensor and faster lens for a claimed 49 percent improvement for low-light pictures and videos, and it has a newer video stabilization capability. The front camera – the one you use for selfies – has an improved and faster autofocus for group shots. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens, respectively, and start at $799 and $899, respectively. The 14 will available this Friday, and the Plus will be available Oct. 7.

The Pro and Max models have the new A16 Bionic chip, and one of the additional features you get in the camera is a 48 MP sensor with the ability to shoot pictures in the RAW format. That feature will appeal to those who like to take high-quality pictures with extensive editing possibilities – and don’t like to lug around a DSLR camera and all its lenses. The Pro and Pro Max have had their notches replaced by the Dynamic Island, a cutout that incorporates animations and notifications, and they have an always-on display. These phones start at $999 and $1099, respectively.

All the new iPhones now have digital eSIM cards, which should be welcomed by users who travel or need multiple phone numbers. Everything is done through software; there are no physical SIM cards. Another feature is the improved battery life, aided by a low-power option that trades features for longer battery life.

All of them come with the new iOS 16 operating system, which is required for the new features. The new OS is available now for iPhone 8 and later; iPad and iPad Mini 5th Generation and later; iPad Air 3rd Generation and later; and all iPad Pro models.

Apple Watch 8, SE and Ultra

Apple Watch 8 focuses on safety and women’s health. In addition to the crash detection feature, its improved temperature sensor enables women to track their menstrual and ovulation cycles, storing all records securely in the cloud. With Watch OS 9, which should be available now, you’ll be able to add a low-power mode for Apple Watch 4 and later to extend battery life to 36 hours, and you’ll be able to add roaming capability to phones with cellular capability. Both watches will be available Friday. The price is $399 for the GPS version and $499 for the cellular version.

The new SE, its second generation, is swim-proof and lets you set low and high heart-rate limits. It also supports crash detection. Available Friday, prices are $249 for the GPS and $299 for the cellular version.

If you’re a triathlete, backpacker, or someone who loves to be active in harsh conditions (think anywhere from a hot, dry desert to the highest mountains to polar regions), the Ultra is for you. Its 49mm display is brighter but has a dark mode, it has a second function button that’s customizable, and it has additional speakers and microphones to aid communication. Cellular capability is built in, and it has a 36-hour battery life that will be extended to 60 hours later on.

Ultra has a feature called Backtrack that can help you find your way back to a set location, and it can set points in between your starting point and destination. For divers, it can function as your dive planner and computer. It’s priced at $799 and will be available Sept. 23.

Air Pod Pro 2

Air Pod Pro 2 has a new H2 chip that will work with the new iOS 16 operating system. Its big upgrades are the ability to create your own spatialized audio, active noise cancellation that’s 2X more powerful than the previous generation, and new touch controls. It has six hours of battery life for continuous use, and you can use your Apple Watch charger to charge Air Pod Pro 2 in your case. They’re priced at $249 and will be available Sept. 23.

We Can Help

If you’re not sure which, if any, of Apple’s new products are best for you, we can review their specs with you to see if it matches your needs and budget. If you purchase a new Apple device, we can help you transfer your data from your old one to your new one and make sure it’s configured to best serve your needs. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us with your questions or to make an appointment.