It’s official: The iPhone 7 is being announced next week, likely sans a headphone jack and any mention of Barbra Streisand. Here’s what we know so far about the new phone, the Apple Watch, and what you can expect from both.
The iPhone 7
First and foremost, the headphone jack is dead, or at least Apple is trying to mortally wound it in favor of Lightning headphones. Much of the discussion surrounding the iPhone 7 has hinged on Apple’s removal of the jack, as that’s really the biggest external change. Considering how much chatter has surrounded this, expect Apple to spend a lot of time talking up the virtues —including waterproofing — of making your earbuds obsolete.
Outside of the disappearing headphones, little has actually changed, according to leaks. Expect more subtle antenna lines, more color options, a ginormous iPhone 7 Plus, and, externally, that’s about it. Internally, Apple might finally drop the 16GB model and make 32GB the minimum amount of memory on an iPhone, a change that many see as overdue. Apple will also likely debut the new, faster A10 processor, as it’s tended to upgrade hardware in the line with each new iPhone.
In terms of iOS 10, expect lots of Snapchatty type features, and little tweaks that take more advantage of the hardware. Apple has been prepping for the tenth anniversary iPhone 8, so any really big changes to iOS are likely waiting a year. Still, don’t rule out Apple dropping in a few surprises. Finally, when preorders open, it seems likely you’ll get your new iPhone September 30th. Thanks, Babs.
On the Apple Watch front, expect Apple to talk a lot about health. The watch is due for a general upgrade in the first place, and it’ll likely be receiving a faster processor and a GPS chip, making it ideal for step-tracking and collecting health data. Apple just bought a health records startup, Gliimpse, that specializes in tracking chronic health issues like diabetes. It’s also spent the last year improving HealthKit, its consumer-facing health software that fits all your calorie counting and fitness tracking under one interface, and ResearchKit, its industrial-grade health-tracking software doctors use to manage studies.
Considering that fitness trackers have clung to market share even as the rest of the wearables market has slumped, it’s not the most surprising move. But Apple is in an unusually strong place to combine consumer health and technology to a degree we haven’t seen before. They may not announce that fully next week, but expect to see a strong emphasis on health in the near future.