Apple introduced the iPhone 15, now with USB-C connectors and a first of its kind smartphone roadside assistance feature.
For the first time in a smartphone, said Apple, the iPhone 15 gets satellite-based roadside assistance for when you are off the grid and cellular and GPS service is not available. Users select the kind of help they need and the interface then guides you to a satellite fix for texting roadside assistance.
The feature is launching with AAA and is covered by AAA membership or available separately for non members. The service is free for two years.
The new iPhone 15 screen measures 6.1 inches and the iPhone 15 Plus measures 6.7 inches. The iPhone15 Pro also comes in 6.1 inches and then 6.7 inches for the Pro Max.
All phones now have a “dynamic island” at the top that shows important controls or info as needed, such as music controls or map directions. The dynamic island can now also track your pizza delivery and show flight information.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus now get a 48 MP main camera that allows 24MP photos. There’s a 2X telephoto lens and the camera now automatically switches into portrait mode when appropriate (even if your subject is a dog or cat).
In an image with multiple subjects you can switch the focus from one to another even after the photo is taken.
The iPhone 15 will start at $799 and the iPhone 15 Plus at $899. Both start at 128GB storage.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max use a new A17 Pro chip based on 19 billion transistors with a 6-core CPU, that’s up to 10X faster than the A16 chip, and “can challenge even high end desktop PCs,” claimed Apple. Their neural engine is now twice as fast and can process up to 35 trillion operations per second.
They use USB 3 connectors up to 20X faster than USB 2.
The Pro phones have new gaming capability with a 6-core GPU that is up to 20 percent faster, making it “the best mobile gaming platform in the world,” said Apple.
The Pro models now have the equivalent of 7 camera lenses including the main 48MP camera with a larger sensor and 2X better low light performance. The telephoto lens provides 5X optical zoom and 120mm focal length and the ultra wide 12MP camera has 10X optical zoom range. The USB 3 cable allows faster transfer speeds for raw photos and videos.
Both the Pro models have a new Action Button for shortcuts to the camera, recording and other features. The Pro cases are made of the same grade of titanium used in the Mars Rover.
The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 (128GB) and the new Pro Max starts at $1199 (256GB). Pre orders start Friday September 15 with availability on September 22.