Apple introduces iPhone 8 and iPhone X, adds cellular to watch - Axios
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Apple introduces iPhone 8 and iPhone X, adds cellular to watch

screen shot by Axios

Apple's big event matched exactly what had leaked and what we said to expect. Apple has introduced the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as a cellular-equipped Apple Watch and an updated Apple TV.

Here are the highlights:

  • High-end iPhone X model with edge-to-edge screen and dual cameras and Face ID facial recognition. It starts at $999, with orders beginning Oct. 27 and shipping Nov. 3.
  • iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with faster chip, improved camera and speakers and a new glass front and back casing for wireless charging. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 and will be available to order Sept. 15 and in stores on Sept. 22.
  • Apple TV 4K, an update to the company's set top box, starts at $179 will be available Sept. 22
  • An updated Apple Watch, known as Series 3, with a built-in cellular connection, for $399
  • Retail chief Angela Ahrendts showed how Apple is redesigning its biggest stores into "town squares" with open spaces. Among the new spots are redesigned stores in Paris, New York, Washington D.C. and a new store on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
  • The event kicked off with CEO Tim Cook delivering a tribute to Steve Jobs, details on the company's hurricane relief efforts as well as an overview of the new Apple headquarters.

Apple Watch: Series 3, the new Apple Watch, will have a built-in cellular connection and shares a number with the iPhone.

"This has been our vision from the very beginning." COO Jeff Williams said. A built in cellular connection will let users take calls, stream Apple Music or access Siri without relying on a nearby cell phone.

It has a new dual-core processor, a homegrown Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip and an altimeter, while keeping the size of the watch roughly the same as the prior model and promises "all-day" battery life of up to 8 hours. A cellular version will sell for $399, with a Wi-Fi only version at $329. The original Series 1 will remain in the line at $249.

Orders will start Sept. 15 and the phone will start shipping Sept. 22. The cellular version will work with all four U.S. carriers

More on the Watch: Apple says it is now the No. 1 watch in the world and has 50 percent year-over-year growth, but still hasn't given specific sales figures. Apple is also updating its software to offer more detailed heart rate information, including notifying people when they have abnormally high resting heart beat and tracking irregular heartbeats as part of a new nationwide study in conjunction with Stanford's hospital. Watch OS 4 will be available Sept. 19.

Apple TV 4K: The new set-top box, which includes support for higher resolution 4K images and HDR (High Dynamic Range) and will be available Sept. 22 (pre-orders start Sept. 15). The base model will sell for $179, with a model with more memory priced at $199. It's powered by the same A10X chip in the company's iPad Pro tablet.

Apple says 4K movies on iTunes won't cost more than the HD versions, and that if you have purchased an HD movie before, it will be updated to 4K for free. Live news and sports are being added to the main Apple TV interface, including alerts for close games.

iPhone 8: Apple introduces iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are similar to the iPhone 7 but add improved speakers, a new glass front and back and a new six-core processor, which Apple calls the A11 bionic. It also supports wireless charging (a feature Apple once dismissed as not a big benefit).

The phones will be available in 64GB and 256GB varieties and be available to order Sept. 15 and start shipping Sept. 22. The iOS 11 update for existing phones will be released Sept. 19.

"This is a huge step forward for iPhone," Cook said.

Of note, only the larger iPhone 8 Plus has the dual cameras. That's the same as with the iPhone 7, but there had been hope that Apple might bring the dual camera to the iPhone 8 as well. Apple is expanding the portrait mode on the iPhone 8 Plus to offer new lighting features. The iPhone 8 also has new sensors and cameras designed to be used with augmented reality.

iPhone X: The high-end model features an edge-to-edge screen and what Apple calls a 5.8-inch "super-retina" display using OLED, rather than the LCDs used in past iPhones. As expected, there is no home button, with gestures replacing the functions previously handled by the home button.

There are a number of improvements to the camera, including the fact that the iPhone X's front-facing camera supports portrait-mode selfies. Apple says it has two hours more battery life than the iPhone 7.

As we reported, the phone will go on sale more than a month after the iPhone 8 and may well still be in short supply. It will start at $999 for a 64GB model. Pre-orders start Oct. 27 with general availability Nov. 3.

Face ID, the Apple facial recognition technology we wrote about previously, replaces Touch ID fingerprint recognition to unlock the device. A built in neural processing engine on the A11 bionic chip allows Apple to do the face recognition on the device. Apple is also using the facial recognition for "animoji" - emoji that can match your facial expression.

Unlike rival technologies, it won't be spoofed by a photo, thwarted by glasses and can adjust to newly grown facial hair.

(Also, FYI, Apple pronounces it like the Roman numeral 10, not the letter “X.")

Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone X supports wireless charging.

Speaking of wireless charging: Apple showed a sneak peek at a charging pad that can simultaneously charge a new iPhone, an Apple Watch and AirPods (with a new wireless case). Apple calls it AirPower and says it should be coming next year.

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Puerto Rico in crisis

A man looks at the horizon early in the morning after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP

Puerto Rico remains without power and short on supplies after being slammed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Officials are having difficulty even communicating with outlying towns that were devastated by the storm, and the humanitarian crisis is growing.

After focusing for days, at least publicly, on NFL protests and other matters, President Trump tweeted about the crisis in Puerto Rico on Monday night — and seemed to blame Puerto Rico in part for its own misfortune.

Trump's tweets: "Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble....It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars....owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA"

What Puerto Rican officials have said

From Governor Ricardo Rosselló: "We are U.S. citizens that just a few weeks ago went to the aid of other U.S. citizens even as we're going through our fiscal downturn and as we were hit by another storm…Now, we've been essentially devastated. Complete destruction of the power infrastructure, severe destruction of the housing infrastructure, food and water are needed. My petition is that we were there once for our brothers and sisters, our other U.S. citizens, now it's time that U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are taken care of adequately, properly."

From Manati mayor Jose Sanchez Gonzalez: "Hysteria is starting to spread. The hospital is about to collapse. It's at capacity," he said, crying. "We need someone to help us immediately."

The scale of the crisis

  • Government officials said Sunday a dam on the Western part of the island "will collapse at any time." Eastern areas, which were hit by the eye of the storm, could take years to recover.
  • Officials estimate it could take up to 6 months to restore power to the whole island.
  • Federal agencies have cleared the Port of San Juan for daytime operations, but accessing Puerto Rico is pretty difficult right now — airports and harbors are severely damaged and the whole island remains out of power. 11 ships have delivered 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, dozens of generators and food, per the AP. Many hospital patients are being flown to the U.S. mainland for treatment.
  • The death toll is at least 10 in Puerto Rico, and 31 if you include other Caribbean islands, per the AP.
  • 1,360 of the island's 1,600 cell towers are down. 85% of phone and internet cables were knocked out.

Personal experiences

  • When locals see outsiders, the first thing they ask is "Are you FEMA?" per The Washington Post.
  • "Nothing's working, we don't hear from anyone…We feel abandoned," Toa Baja resident Johanna Ortega told USAToday.
  • Food at local grocery stores is "VERY LIMITED," San Juan resident Claudia Batista messaged Axios. Batista described the situation in San Juan as "desperate times," saying because of "all the material loss, people are losing control and patience and are stealing in other homes and assaulting people on the streets."
  • Some local responders in Juncos cleared streets with machetes since the town doesn't have enough chain saws. People are riding bikes and walking for miles to get to gas stations

What FEMA is doing

  • FEMA teams were in Puerto Rico earlier this month following Hurricane Irma, and as soon as Hurricane Maria's winds died down they launched search-and-rescue missions, per USAToday.
  • All of the 28 task force teams around the U.S. have been recruited to help, which is rare, per Karl Lee, a FEMA Incident Support Team member.
  • FEMA responders are using a San Juan hotel as a command center.
  • 4,000 U.S. Army Reserve members have also been deployed to the island. The Army Corps of Engineers dispatched the 249th Engineer Battalion, per CNN.

What Trump has said

Trump declared a major disaster in Puerto Rico and said all of the U.S. government is behind the relief efforts. White House adviser Tom Bossert and FEMA's chief are heading to Puerto Rico Monday, although a trip from Trump isn't expected for a while, per CNN.

  • Rosselló thanked Trump on Monday for having federal emergency assistance provided, per the AP, noting FEMA has done a "phenomenal job."

Trump's most recent tweets about Puerto Rico, from last week:

Take a look

How to help

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