By JAMIE TUCKER Consumer Technology Reporter
Apple held its annual fall event on Tuesday to unveil two new products: the iPhone 15 and the Apple Watch Series 9.
The autumn event often causes excitement among all Apple users. Not so much this time.
Sure, the new devices are improvements over previous models and it’s true that “they’re the most powerful iPhone ever,” but are these devices really such a big improvement? Is it worth upgrading now or waiting until next year?
Here are some of the highlights of Apple’s new devices:
The iPhone 15’s improvements are mostly under the hood. It’s faster than last year’s iPhone 14 and the cameras are an improvement. It’s also easier to switch to portrait mode.
It adopts the iPhone 14 Pro’s dynamic island that shows music playing, phone calls, and Uber information. And the screen is slightly larger. The device itself is smaller, but the bezels are slightly smaller and the screen takes up that space.
There are no major improvements compared to the 14. In fact, Apple only spent a little over two minutes introducing it, which is less than it spent discussing its environmental impact. The segment with Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature is worth watching.
The biggest change with the iPhone 15 is the charging port. Apple is finally ditching its Lightning port and switching to a USB-C charger. That’s not such good news if you have a lot of Lightning cables and chargers. You have to buy new ones. Charging is faster and data transfer from phone to computer is also faster.
The iPhone 15 Pro, on the other hand, has significantly better cameras and is now fast enough for gamers to play Apple’s console games.
Apple is also doing away with the mute switch on the side of the iPhone 15 Pro, replacing it with an “action button” that not only mutes the phone, but can also open other apps and launch shortcuts simply by tapping the button once or twice presses.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is, of course, faster than the Apple Watch Series 8. At this point, every Apple device is faster than the previous model and has better battery life. Can you imagine Tim Cook announcing a new device that’s slower?
There’s also a new feature that lets you answer and end calls by simply squeezing your fingers on the hand that’s wearing Apple Watch. In my opinion, this was the most impressive innovation. It will be useful if you have something in your other hand. Haven’t all Apple Watch users answered a call by tapping their nose on the screen? Or is that just me?
Series 9 is also available in two new colors, Pink and Starlight.
Given these advances, who should upgrade? My opinion is anyone with an iPhone 13 and older and anyone with an Apple Watch Series 7 and older. However, the upgrade is not necessarily recommended for the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9. Keep in mind that prices will drop by $100 for last year’s models of both phones and the Apple Watch.
The new devices will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 15th and will be available in stores on September 22nd.