Apple’s iPhone 7 is coming. At least we think it’ll be called the iPhone 7. Either way, Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone during a major press event on Sept. 7. The show is also likely to include an appearance by Apple’s second-generation Apple Watch and, of course, news on the company’s iOS 10.
So what can you expect from the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch? Funny you should ask, because we’ve got some clues.
The same, but different
The iPhone 6 marked the first time Apple debuted two versions of its iPhone: the standard iPhone with a relatively small 4.7-inch display and a big-screen handset with a larger 5.5-inch screen. And that strategy is likely to continue with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The Wall Street Journal, as well as a host of other outlets including MacRumors, indicate that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will see extremely modest design changes and look largely similar to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Goodbye, headphone jack
The most controversial of the rumored changes coming to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets report, is the removal of the phones’ headphone jacks. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. First, it could mean that you’d have to plug your headphones into the iPhone’s Lightning port, which would make listening to your phone’s headphone while the handset is charging a bit of a pain.
It could also mean that you’d need a special adapter that plugs into the Lightning port to use your headphones or use Bluetooth-enabled headphones with each new iPhone.
While you might take extreme umbrage — I’ve always wanted to use that word — to the possibility that your next iPhone won’t have a headphone jack, there could be an upside to the move. By removing the port, Apple can make the iPhone a bit thinner and fill the void left by jack with additional battery cells.
A boatload of reportedly leaked photos of the iPhone 7 Plus have shown the handset with two camera lenses. According to Bloomberg’s crack Apple reporter, Mark Gurman, the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual-camera setup would provide users with more colorful and sharper images. The iPhone 7’s twin-camera design should also help with low-light photos, an area in which Apple has fallen behind Samsung in recent years.
Unfortunately, the smaller iPhone 7 won’t get the two-camera setup the iPhone 7 Plus will get, MacRumors reports.
New Home button
Apple’s Home button has been roughly unchanged since the iPhone 5s brought a fingerprint sensor to the handset. But the iPhone 7 is expected to bring a fresh design to the button by utilizing the same kind of 3D Touch sensor found on the phone’s display.
According to Bloomberg, the button will no longer click into the phone, but rather, will provide a kind of feedback similar to what you feel when clicking on the MacBook’s touchpad.
It would, however, be interesting if Apple moved away from the iconic styling of the Home button in favor of something a bit smaller. The reason the current phone’s footprint is as large as it is is that Apple likes the symmetrical look created by making the areas above and below the iPhone’s screen the same size.
If the company shrank the Home button, it could decrease the size of the area below and above the phone’s screen and, as a result, reduce the handset’s overall dimensions. But, hey, that’s just one man’s opinion.
A lot of people, yours truly included, dislike the fact that the base iPhone comes with just 16GB of storage space. But according to 9to5Mac that might soon change. Citing KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the site says the iPhone 7 will start with 32GB at the same price the company previously charged for its 16GB handsets. So hopefully that means you won’t have to worry about having to delete an old app every time you want to install a new one.
This one isn’t a rumor but a fact: The iPhone 7 will launch with the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 10. The OS, which is currently available for download as a beta, includes updates to the lock screen, a new Messages app and the inclusion of Apple’s new Home app. Home will allow for improved control over your HomeKit-enabled home automation devices such as power outlets, fans, window blinds and more.
Apple Watch 2.0?
The Apple Watch is expected to get a big software update thanks to Apple’s upcoming release of watchOS 3. Unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June, watchOS 3 will offer faster performance, a new Breathe app to help users track their breathing and relax and an improved messaging capabilities.
But what if you’re more interested in the possibility of an all-new Apple Watch? Well, according to rumors, we could get that, too. According to Bloomberg, the new timepiece will be called the Apple Watch 2 and included GPS technology that will improve user location tracking during workouts.
AppleInsider says the Apple Watch 2 will also include a barometer, which could further improve location tracking, and a larger battery that should extend overall battery life.
If you were looking forward to a new design, though, you’ll have to keep waiting, as numerous reports indicate that the Apple Watch 2 will sport the same look as its predecessor. That’s fine by me, though, since the original Apple Watch is easily one of the most beautiful smartwatches you can buy.
Want to find out what Apple’s got in store for its big event? Check back with us for our live coverage of the show on Sept. 7.
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