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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Apple unveils new technology at annual conference

“The Nun” antagonist, a demon named Valak. The fifth installment in “The Conjuring” series premiered in theaters Sept. 7. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS CC0 1.0

Apple’s 2018 keynote event on Sept. 12 introduced the Apple Watch Series 4, two new phones, new health software and augmented reality apps at the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

The Series 4 Watch has the capability of notifying the user immediately when their heart rate is elevated, and it can also take an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) in 30 seconds, a test that measures a heart’s electrical activity. The ECG recordings, classification of the recordings and noted symptoms can be sent to a doctor via PDF and provides detailed pictures that can otherwise only be obtained in a clinic, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said. It is also FDA approved.

“In my experience people often report symptoms that are absent during their medical visits,” Ivor J. Benjamin, president of the American Heart Association and practicing cardiologist, said at the keynote event. “The ability to access how data on an on-demand electrocardiogram or ECG is game changing, especially when evaluating atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate than can increase a person’s risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart related complications.”

The Apple Watch Series 4 could detect when someone falls by analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration. After a fall is detected, it sends an alert in which you can access emergency services, and if you haven’t moved in a minute, emergency services and your emergency contacts are notified by providing your location.

“Fall detection is a feature that we hope you never need, but it’s really nice to know it’s there,” Jeff Williams, chief operating officer at Apple, said at the conference.

iOS 12 will be focusing more on augmented reality software to expand in gaming, learning and surface and content detection. A built-in measure app will be available to all users, and the AR Quick Look will be able to bring 3D objects into the real world, showing an object online in front of you.  

The camera will have a “Smart HDR,” which means that multiple photos in different exposures will combine into a single image.

However, the new iPhone XS isn’t really different from the last release. The battery life is improved by 30 minutes, and the screen is scratch resistant. The speaker is about 25 percent louder. In preparation for new releases, Apple killed off several products including the iPhone X, iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Series 1.

“If the battery life and service issues are repaired or at least better with the new iPhone, it shouldn’t be terrible, but missing out on the home button and headphone jack won’t really convince me on upgrading my phone in the next year,” Evanna Plakas, freshmen engineering major, said.

Amath Thiam, a senior computer engineering major and a phone repairman, said that repairing the iPhone XS should be similar to the iPhone 10.

“We take off the screen, which should be the same, but the motherboard and chips may be a little different,” Thiam said. He just upgraded to the iPhone 8 and said that he’s trying to spend another thousand dollars on a new phone.

The iPhone X was released in November 2017 for $999 and is the same size as the iPhone XS and has the same OLED retina display and screen resolution. The A12 chip processor of the iPhone XS has a 50 percent faster graphics performance card, and the power usage is 50 percent lower. The iPhone 6 was the last iPhone with a headphone jack.

It is great that they kept the stereo sound for movies and games, but there aren’t that many noticeable differences between the iPhone X and the XS. The iPhone XS Max has a larger display (6.5 inches), than the iPhone X Plus (5.5 inches). The camera has few changes– it’s still a dual 12 megapixel wide camera — but it now has smarter HDR photo detection and depth control.

“I’m an Apple user but in all honesty they’re pretty underwhelming, especially for the prices,” Victoria Kopji, a sales associate at T-Mobile and junior environmental studies major, said. “They have a fantastic marketing team and hype up their launches only to release a phone that Samsung came out with 2 years ago.”

At the conference, Apple also said the FaceTime app will now also be able to support up to 32 people in a call and it will have face filters.

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