Apple’s big semi-annual keynote is over. We have seen the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and we know more about the technology that runs these admittedly wondrous devices than we really care to know.
We also know when you can get your bougie little hands on one: September 9 (to pre-order), with the phones shipping on Sept. 16.
Here are five other things we learned about Apple during today’s presentation, and a few questions it raised.
1. Getting rid of a headphone jack counts as “brave.”
At least, that’s what Apple would have us believe, judging by the number of uses of the word (and “courage”) to describe Apple’s decision to eliminate the traditional headphone jack.
Instead, each iPhone 7 will come with earbuds that connect to your phone through the lightning port, the same hole you stick your charger into. Apple reasons that there are plenty of other affordable headphone options that use the lightning port. (Downside: The lightning port cord tends to fray fairly quickly.)
And for those who refuse to use the earbuds that come with the phone, Apple is also including headphone-lightning port adapter with each iPhone 7. Happy?
2. AirPods look really cool, and will cost $159.
The technology that powers these wireless earbuds is very cool and complex, and means you don’t have to wait for it to pair with devices, and can instantly switch their input from device to device. (Well, that’s the claim. We haven’t tried them yet.) They’ll be available in October. You’ll probably lose them the day after you buy them.
Critics are mainly focusing on the price point, which does seem steep. However, decent wireless headphones currently range from about $70 to $300, or even more. When you consider that’s essentially what Apple’s AirPods are, it’s a little easier to understand why such a small thing costs so much. It’s also just as easy to not buy them.
3. Apple Music has 17 million subscribers.
That’s still far short of Spotify’s 35 million paid subscribers, but a good 2 million more than Apple’s service had in the middle of June. It would appear Apple Music’s strategy of nabbing all the artist exclusives it can — see: Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean — is starting to pay off.
4. The Apple Watch is not really for sedentary folks.
Which is a shame, because we could probably use one to help us be less of a sluggard.
The Apple Watch Series 2, as the new version is called, has all sorts of features that are cool for people who enjoy running and hiking and swimming and other wholesome activities that burn calories. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters, and even comes with an app that will literally just tell you to do a deep breathing exercise, to help with the stress of always being connected to work and friends by your Apple Watch.
And now, you can use your Apple Watch to play “Pokemon Go,” draining your Apple Watch battery instead of your iPhone battery. Also, it’ll set you back $269.
5. Apple loves Nintendo.
Not only is “Pokemon Go” coming to the Apple Watch, but Nintendo is also making a new Super Mario game for iOS, available in the App Store. It’s called “Super Mario Run,” and you can play it with one hand. It’s a natural fit for both companies, leading one to wonder why this hasn’t happened sooner.
Other things we were left to wonder:
- No one really expected CEO Tim Cook would address the $14.5 billion tax bill the European Union recently stuck Apple with. That sort of thing comes up in earnings calls, not product launches, but the lack of any kind of nod is interesting.
- There was no announcement of Twitter coming to Apple TV, as some industry observers expected. Twitter will begin streaming “Thursday Night Football” games in their entirety starting Sept. 15, and as pro football is a sport that generally lends itself to viewing on a larger screen, partnering with Apple TV seems like a no-brainer.
- Instead, there was much love given to the photo-driven social network Instagram. Instagram’s head of design, Ian Spalter, got to show off how well Instagram works with the iPhone 7’s super special new camera.
- Furthermore, other than a plug for “Late Late Show” host James Corden‘s “Carpool Karaoke” series that will begin airing on Apple Music in 2017, we didn’t hear anything about Apple’s content plans.
Shares of Apple were up 0.65 percent after the event, indicating a general “Eh” attitude from Wall Street.
Watch Apple’s TL;DR video of their own event above.