New Features for iPhone, Apple Watch

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Apple Rapid Security Response Update

Apple’s newest iPhones and Apple Watches now come with an automotive feature–automatic crash notification.

The new iPhone 14 models and Apple Watch Series 8, SE and Ultra, get a new dynamic range gyroscope and an accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs to help determine when you’ve been in a severe crash.

Apple also makes use of GPS, barometer and other readings and then applies an algorithm (tested through 1 million hours of real time driving) for determining a crash. The phone or watch can then can alert emergency services and your emergency contacts.

The new Phone 14 gets another new emergency feature—it can locate you even when you are off the grid via satellite rather than cell towers.  Communication satellites are hundreds of miles above the earth so typical emergency devices require a bulky antenna. Apple got around this problem through software that keeps you pointing your phone directly at the nearest satellite to better communicate with it. The user interface directs you through a compass-like graphic to find the satellite, lock in and stay connected. Users get the service free for the first two years.

The new iPhone 14 bears a 6.1 inch screen and the new iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7 inch screen. These are joined by the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max (available in 6.1- and 6.7-inch sizes).

The basic models are 18 percent faster than iPhone 13 with an improved camera system that has a faster aperture for better motion freezing and more vibrant colors and a 49 percent improvement in low light capture. There’s also a new action mode for smoother video.

The iPhone 14 releases on September 16 starting at $799 (pre-order starts September 9) and the iPhone 14 Plus will be available October 7 starting at $899.

The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999 (pre-order starts September 9) with availability from September 16, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1099 on September 16.

The Pro display is brighter and allows an “always on” feature so you can see the time or information without raising the display.

The Pro and Pro Max also have a new “Dynamic Island,” a bubble that appears to show important notifications and controls for the mode you are in.

Apple claims the Pro and Pro Max use the most advanced displays in any smartphone.  They are based on a new A16 bionic chip with 16 billion transistors, the most ever in an iPhone. The phones are 40 percent faster than the competition. And they use the most powerful camera system with a 48 megapixel main camera.

A new Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 beginning September 16. A basic Watch SE starts at $249 beginning September 16 and a new extreme outdoors Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799 starting September 23.

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