Unless you listened carefully, you may not have picked up on the underlying theme at Apple’s big event yesterday, a motif that, it turns out, extends throughout all of Apple’s events: These products are the best things we’ve ever made ever, and also they’re better than pretty much every other thing of their kind. Here are some of the superlatives that caught my ear the most:
- The Steve Jobs Theater is “the most state-of-the-art, purpose-built theater ever,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, “built for events just like this one.”
- The rest of the soon-to-open new spaceship-like headquarters possesses “one of the world’s largest onsite solar installations” (in addition to the world’s best door handles).
- The Apple Watch, he said is “the number one watch in the world,” with “an industry leading customer satisfaction rating of 97 percent.” It’s heart rate sensor is, said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, “the most used heart rate monitor in the world.”
- The new Apple Watch, Series 3, boasts GymKit, is “an industry first” and “the most advanced technologies ever in a watch.” Perhaps not surprisingly, “the biggest challenge of all was adding cellular.”
The Apple TV 4K isn’t just an upgrade to the company’s set-top box: It is, Cook said,
- “the next major inflection point” in the history of TV, the “next evolution of the TV experience.”
- It has “the highest picture quality ever,”Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said simply. The Apple TV app now offers the “biggest releases in the best quality” at the same price as before. For sports fans, the new TV app is—of course—”a game-changer.”
For The First Time
- The first iPhone, said Tim Cook, “forever changed how we interact with technology by introducing multi-touch. For the first time you were actually touching the software instead of buttons.”
- We took the viewing experience “to places literally never seen before, with technologies like the Retina Display.
- The iPhone camera became “the most popular way to capture images in our lives.”
The new iPhone 8 has
- “the most durable ever [glass] in a smartphone,” said Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
- a processor that represents “a breakthrough performance in a mobile device.” It’s “the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone.”
- “For the first time, to help reduce noise, it has hardware-enabled multi-band noise reduction,” said Phil Schiller. And it has the “highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone.”
- It’s also “the first iPhone created for augmented reality and the first smartphone designed for it too.” It delivers “the best experience for motion tracking.”
- Now you can augment the reality you see on your iPhone screen—like, for instance, by adding things to the sky above you. “This isn’t some generic sky. This is the sky around you.” The audience roared with applause.
And then there was one more thing.
- The surface of the iPhone X is made of “surgical grade stainless steel,” Eddy Cue said, and “there’s never been anything like it.”
- The screen has the “highest resolution in pixel density ever in an iPhone” on the “first OLED display great enough to be in an iPhone,” with an “incredible a million-to-one contrast ratio” and “the best color accuracy.”
- Swiping up to get to the home screen is, he promised, “an entirely new experience that’s more fluid and more intuitive.” It may be unusual to have no buttons on the front of the phone, but “there’s never been a better way” to get to your home screen, promised Cue. “Nothing has ever been simpler and natural and effortless.”
- FaceID is built on “some of the most advanced technology we’ve ever created.” The new sensor on the phone’s face relies on the A11 bionic chip to do the facial analysis. “It’s Apple’s first-ever neural engine,” thanks to the “incredible collaboration between hardware and software that’s only possible at Apple.”
- As for security, of course, despite the one-in-a-million chance that someone else could use FaceID to get into your phone, remember: “there’s no perfect system, not even biometric ones,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.
Returning to the stage, Tim Cook alluded to what is perhaps the company’s most valuable asset: its ever-ballooning software ecosystem. Thanks to the new AR-enabled iPhone cameras, he said, iOS was already “the world’s largest platform for augmented reality.”
For good measure, he reminded the audience that the phone itself carried “more powerful technologies than we’ve ever put in an iPhone before.” He did not use any superlatives to refer to the new phone’s $999 starting price, which certainly deserves them.
But he did urge everyone to go touch it and other things in the “hands-on area” in the theater’s lobby. It was, of course, “the most beautiful hands-on area by far.”