Black is back
Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

Although Apple’s latest developer’s conference occurred in the midst of iPhone rumours and controversies, the attention that it received remained huge. Just before the release of the new iPhone, Shigeru Miyamoto, also known as the “Father of Mario”, surprised the public by re-introducing Nintendo’s first mobile game–– Super Mario Run. This adventure quest game runs as a single-handed design, where Mario walks forward automatically, and the user controls the frequency and the height of his jump by tapping on the screen. The aim of the game is to collect the most gold coins in a limited period. Due to its mobility, the game also has a battle mode so that players from around the world can challenge each other. The game will be released in the Apple App Store before Christmas.

Returning to the focus on the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus, the new iteration has a familiar appearance but plenty of new features. Apple has added two new colours, matte black and jet black to the original gold, silver, and rose gold collection. The 32GB model has replaced the 16GB version as the standard storage level, and the highest capacity has been increased to 256GB, the same as the iPad Pro Line. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus use the Lightning interface for digital audio output to provide better audio performance. As part of this design, the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack is no more, with the iPhone instead sporting Lightning-powered EarPods. The space created by headphone plug void has been filled with a set of stereo speakers on the top and bottom, resulting in a doubling of available volume. The iPhone 7 now carries a 12-megapixel f/1.8 large aperture lens, with an optical stabilisation function enabling the now faster lens to make clear images even in dimly lit environments. The 7 Plus version comes with two lenses, now providing both wide angle and telephoto angles of view. Last but not least, Apple’s smartphone is certified with an IP67 waterproof and dust-proof rating, so that it remains functional under water to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes.

On the software side, Apple has updated the iOS operating system to iOS 10. The new spec iOS automatically turns on the iPhone when lifted. The new system adds a wealth of new features such as adding a new itinerary, replying to messages, browsing through photographs within messages, and inquiring about the location of an Uber driver, all accessed without unlocking the phone. Expanding the 3D Touch from just being a shortcut into individual functions, the newly revised 3D Touch menu also displays more information. The music player can now add lyrics to the display so users can easily sing along. Apple has also opened their SDK to other third-party software apps through the support of Siri; now a WhatsApp message or a call to Uber can be made directly by just activating Siri.