The 2017 Apple Event was all about emotion for the company and its viewers. Beginning with a touching tribute to Steve Jobs, every announcement was centered around how its products have or will make consumers feel.
As the first event held at the Steve Jobs Theater, the event was destined to be nostalgic, which CEO Tim Cook played to the max during the keynote—honoring Jobs and also the many ways iPhone changed how mobile phones were used.
“I love hearing his voice,” CEO Tim Cook said, taking the stage after a recorded message from Jobs, “and his inspiring message. Today and always we honor him.”
The new Series 3 Apple Watch was presented among accounts of a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate and a video in which real customers explained how the Apple Watch changed their lives. The clip showed each customer reading their letters to Apple aloud while being active, from fitness training to traveling the world at age 99. The new smart watch is focusing even more on fitness and health, including updates to the heart rate app to include more detailed information. The company is using this technology to help others with The Apple Heart Study, partnering with Stanford Medicine to examine and detect atrial fibrillation.
Apple’s new Series 3 watch with watchOS 4 has a built-in cellular connection, meaning users can stay connected to calls, internet access, Siri (who now speaks) and stream Apple Music without needing a phone present.
Next came a recap of TV’s history from black and white to 4K graphics, Cook explained how Apple TV is bringing cinematic quality to consumer homes. The journey through time brings back a sense of nostalgia, but was also meant to ilicit a sense of wonder through brighter colors and detailed graphics.
“At the heart of Apple TV 4K are two key technologies that are driving the next evolution of the TV experience,” said Cook, referring to 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR).
But the announcements audiences were eagerly awaiting were for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Apple placed much of the emphasis on capturing life’s moments through the new and improved camera, which uses new technology to capture the perfect selfie. Meanwhile, augmented reality (a first for iPhones) and gaming are designed to immerse users and bring them together.
Other features are designed for security and giving the user a sense of individuality.
The iPhone X does away with the home button, replacing it with a facial recognition feature. The neural engine adapts to subtle changes such as facial hair, glasses, etc. but should be protected against “evil twins,” Cook joked.
The same facial recognition technology can be used to animate and record messages through emoji, as demonstrated during the presentation by Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller.
“If you were, by chance, wondering what humanity would do given access to the most advanced facial tracking technology available, you now have your answer,” said Schiller while animating a Poo emoji.
While the humor isn’t lost on Apple, emoji have proven to be an effective way of communication between friends and loved ones. Animating them with one’s own voice and facial expressions adds even more individuality to the experience.
Apple wants to make its users feel good about what it creates and does. The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” played as the 2017 Apple Event drew to a close, although if you want an iPhone X, you might be singing “Money (That’s What I Want).”