Tech by VICE

The 6 Things You Need to Know About the iPhone 7

Headphone jack, we hardly knew ye.

by Nicholas Deleon
Sep 7 2016, 8:50pm

Image: Luca Mascaro/Flickr

While Motherboard covered Apple's iPhone 7 in real time earlier today, we wanted to take a moment to present the crucial information of the day in an easier-to-scan format. Hope this helps!

The EarPods. Image: Apple

Yes, the headphone jack is gone.

This was the big rumor heading into the event today; it's no longer a rumor. The iPhone 7 ditches the traditional analog headphone jack, with Apple now including a pair of headphones in the box that use the Lightning port instead (above). You can still use your existing headphones by using the included dongle—which costs $9 to replace if you lose it. Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, claimed the move to drop the headphone jack required "courage." That's one way to put it.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Image: Apple

The New iPhones are the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. They look very familiar.

One of the questions heading into today was whether or not Apple would call the new iPhones "iPhone 7" or something else, with the speculation being that maybe Apple would keep the iPhone 7 moniker for next year's model, which will be the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone.

Nope, you're looking at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the design language of which is largely similar to last year's model—well, with the exception of the removal of the headphone jack, the dual-camera setup on the 7 Plus, and the new placement of the antenna bands on the back. Pre-orders begin this Friday, with a September 16 release data on the books. One change of note: storage capacities have doubled from last year, so the cheapest model you can buy now has 32GB of storage (the others are 128GB and 256GB).

The AirPods. Image: Apple

Wireless headphones are in the spotlight.

Wired analog headphones are yesterday's news, according to Apple, which took the opportunity to develop a pair of wireless headphones called AirPods. These things will cost you $159 when they're released in "late October" and last five hours on a single charge. (Apple claims 15 minutes of charge time in the included battery case will power the headphones for 3 hours.) Apple claims the AirPods "automatically" connect to nearby devices, but this video from the Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw shows that that connection process really isn't that much faster than my Bose Bluetooth headphones that I use every day.

Image: Apple

The dual camera is Real

Both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus now support optical image stabilization (only the Plus had it before), which should cut down on blurry photos, particularly in low light (like at a bar, say). Only the 7 Plus gets a dual camera setup. One camera is a standard wide angle lens (28mm equivalent) and the other is more for zoomed-in portraits (56mm equivalent). The two cameras can also work in tandem, letting users take a photo with the camera app automatically blurring the background to create a field effect (also known as "bokeh") that's typically reserved for more expensive SLRs.

Image: Apple

The Apple Watch is still kicking.

Apple's smartwatch was given a few minutes to shine today, but like the iPhone 7, the overall design hasn't changed too much. The Apple Watch Series 2, as it's called, increases the speed of the processor, which should make operation a little less sluggish. Apple also says it's improved the battery life, addressing yet another common complaint, and has added a dedicated GPS radio to the watch for more accurate run-tracking. Series 2 is also now water resistant up to 50 meters, which is enough to get you through a trip to the beach or the pool.

Image: Nintendo

Mario is coming.

This one came out of left field. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto came on stage to introduce Super Mario Run, an "endless runner" (think Temple Run) that'll be available for the iPhone and iPad in December. Nintendo's first mobile app, Miitomo, which was released earlier this year, is kind of a weird chat app, but Super Mario Run is more of a traditional gaming experience.

Nintendo has at least two other mobile games coming up, including versions of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, but it's safe to say just about no one was expecting an endless runner starring Mario to be featured today.

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