By Dan Moren
September 12, 2023 1:37 PM PT
A few things not mentioned in Apple’s iPhone keynote
It was an odd fall keynote for Apple. As expected, revisions of the iPhone and Apple Watch took the spotlight, but there were relatively few surprises overall, many of the details having leaked ahead of time, and a large amount of time spent on the company’s environmental initiatives and innovative materials.
As always, I combed through Apple’s website and press releases afterwards, to dig up any details that might not have made the cut of the roughly hour and twenty-minute presentation and there was…surprisingly few additional tidbits to find.
The iPhone 15 Pro contains a Thread radio, a wireless connectivity standard used in smart home tech. Previously it’s only been available in the HomePod, HomePod mini, and Apple TV 4K. In its press release, Apple describes it as “opening up future opportunities for Home app integrations”, though at present, it sounds like it’s not doing anything.
Satellite coverage—both Emergency SOS and Roadside Assistance—is available for two years free with any iPhone 15 activation. (Presumably iPhone 14 Pro owners who had previous coverage will continue to get it for free when they upgrade. The support document on Apple’s site isn’t live as of this writing.
In addition to AirPods, the Apple Watch can also charge from the iPhone 15s. Apple only mentions those devices, though presumably anything with a USB-C connection should be able to? Apple says the USB-C cable included with the iPhone “is compatible with AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case (USB‑C).”
A footnote on the Action button notes that the Translate option will not be available until “later this year.”
Unsurprisingly, the new Precision Finding features Apple showed off only works with devices with the new second-generation Ultra Wideband chip.1
Apple’s 20W USB-C adapter (sold separately, naturally) will charge an iPhone 15 to about 50% in roughly 30 minutes.
The new second-generation AirPods Pro USB-C charging case is apparently not available separately, which seems to be because these AirPods Pro are actually a slightly newer model. Apple cites a new IP54 rating for earbuds and case, adding additional dust resistance, as well as a new Lossless Audio with ultra-low latency specifically for use with Apple Vision Pro—a feature that does not appear to be coming to the existing second-generation AirPods Pro.
Timing and prices
Pre-orders of new iPhones start at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific on Friday, September 15.
iOS/iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17 launch Monday, September 18. macOS Sonoma launches Tuesday, September 26.
The new iCloud+ plans Apple unveiled will cost $29.99 per month for the 6TB storage option and $59.99 per month for 12TB.
- Which Apple appears to be very careful not to call the U2. ↩
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him by email at email@example.com. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]
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