Apple unveils $999 iPhone X, loses ‘home’ button
Apple unveils $999 iPhone X, loses ‘home’ button
CEO Tim Cook called it “the biggest leap forward” since the first iPhone. (“X” is pronounced like the number 10, not the letter X.) It loses the home button, which revolutionized smartphones when it launched; offers an edge-to-edge screen; and will use facial recognition to unlock the phone.
Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 8 and a larger 8 Plus with upgrades to cameras, displays and speakers.
Those phones, Apple said, will shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
Both iPhone 8 versions will allow wireless charging, a feature thought to be limited to the anniversary phone. Many Android phones, including Samsung’s, already have this.
Steve Jobs homage
This is the first product event for Apple at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. Before getting to the new iPhone, the company unveiled a new Apple Watch model with cellular service and an updated version of its Apple TV streaming device.
The event opened in a darkened auditorium, with only the audience’s phones gleaming like stars, along with a message that said “Welcome to Steve Jobs Theater.” A voiceover from Jobs, Apple’s co-founder who died in 2011, opened the event before CEO Tim Cook took stage.
“Not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him,” Cook said. “Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event. It’s taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness.”
The iPhone X costs twice what the original iPhone did. It sets a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
Apple’s latest Watch has built-in cellular service. The number on your phone will be the same as your iPhone. The Series 3 model will also have Apple Music available through cellular service.
“Now, you can go for a run with just your watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer and in charge of Watch development.
Apple is also adding more fitness features to the Watch, and says it is now the most used heartrate monitor in the world. Now, Apple Watch will notify users when it detects an elevated heart rate when they don’t appear to be active. It’ll also detect abnormal heart rhythms.
The Series 3 will start at $399. One without cellular goes for $329, down from $369 for the comparable model now. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $249, down from $269. The new watch comes out Sept. 22.
Apple TV gets upgrade
A new version of the Apple TV streaming device will be able to show video with sharper “4K” resolution and a color-improvement technology called high-dynamic range, or HDR.
Many rival devices already offer these features. But there’s not a lot of video in 4K and HDR yet, nor are there many TVs that can display it. Apple TV doesn’t have its own display and needs to be connected to a TV.
Apple said it’s been working with movie studios to bring titles with 4K and HDR to its iTunes store. They will be sold at the same prices as high-definition video, which tends to be a few dollars more than standard-definition versions. Apple said it’s working with Netflix and Amazon Prime to bring their 4K originals to Apple TV, too.
The new Apple TV device will cost $179 and ships on Sept. 22. A version without 4K will cost less.
Start-up of the Week: The app that restores work-life balance
- MRSOOL helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door
- Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.
JEDDAH: Too many errands, too little time? This is how MRSOOL co-founder Naif Al-Simri used to feel, so he decided to do something about it — and not just for himself.
Realizing that he was not managing to successfully juggle the demands of his job and his family, he started to think about how he could manage things better.
His thought processes eventually led him to develop MRSOOL, an app that helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door. All consumers need to do is post their orders, and an MRSOOL courier will go to the store to pick up and deliver the desired items to them.
“I used to work a lot and I was not at home. My family always needed something, but I could not do it for them because of work commitments. So I would suffer because I could not do their errands and also could not find a solution. The fact that I could not find a solution would upset my family,” he said.
Thinking about the problem — and how it affected so many people in the modern world — triggered a lightbulb moment for Al-Simri. He came up with the idea of creating a platform that would deliver anything, without him having to leave the office and pick up his family.
“If I had to run errands I would have to leave the office and take them (to the shops). That is like five trips, so I thought to myself what if I have someone who lives close by pick up what is needed on his way and make money by doing it,” he said.
He started to outline his idea to some of his close friends who work in app development. He talked through whether they thought there was market demand for such a service and analyzed the challenges. As he threw around ideas with friends, he was starting to formulate a business plan. It was at this stage that he started to see the potential.
He discussed the concept with Ayman Al-Sanad (a friend?), and although Al-Sanad had come up against Al-Simri’s ideas before, and was cautious about practicalities, his future partner was impressed by the proposal. Nevertheless, Al-Sanad made some suggestions for tweaking the original idea.
“I took Ayman’s feedback and went back to the drawing board. We were both working at the time so we would touch base on weekends to discuss our development and progress,” Al-Simri added.
The two future partners started working together to develop the application, which was eventually launched in 2015. Today MRSOOL serves the whole country and there are plans to expand to the GCC and Arab countries.
Not only is MRSOOL now ranked in the top 10 applications in the Kingdom, with a star rating of 4.8 out of 5, but it is even listed in the top 200 active applications by the US Apple store.
Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.