Five things we learned at the iPhone X event

Apple Watch Series 3? Portrait mode selfies? iPHONE X?!

There's a lot that was revealed September 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in California, but here are five super interesting things that piqued our Apple-loving interest.

Portrait Lighting is a game-changer

When Portrait Mode was first introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus, mobile photographers and professional photographers alike were impressed with the feature's capabilities. Fast-forward to this year, and we get a glimpse at Portrait Lighting.

Essentially, Portrait Lighting will adjust lighting in real time to get better light for your portrait photos. You can even swipe to pick different lighting effects while composing the picture!

The benefit to this? More control of your photos and the ability to take breathtaking portraiture that could rival even the most pricey DSLRs.

Cellular capabilities, meet Apple Watch

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring, Banana Phooooooone (Some Youtube Video from like, 1,000 years ago)

If you're wondering what that ringing sound may be, no, it's not your iPhone and no, it's not your iPad and no, it's not your MacBook and no, it's not your banana phone, so what could it possibly be?

Could it be your brand new Apple Watch Series 3 that now has cellular capabilities?

Could it be that the cellular feature on the new Apple Watch uses what's called an eSIM card—a card that's one-hundredth the size of an original SIM—that works great to allow data transfer over the air, and that Apple specifically mentioned that you will be able to do the following with the new model?

  • Make and receive calls using the same number as your iPhone
  • Send and receive text messages without your iPhone
  • Use the Maps app for directions without your iPhone
  • Find my Friends switches to your Apple Watch when you don't have your phone
  • Chat apps like WeChat and Snapchat work without your iPhone
  • Stream Apple Music on your wrist without your iPhone
  • Siri regains its features

Wild, wild wireless charging

Welcome to the wild world of wireless charging, where we're able to wirelessly ooh and ahh in wonderment at Apple's new AirPower wireless charging mat!

AirPower is a wireless charging mat that uses the Qi charging standard. It's wide enough to fit multiple devices, but still small enough to go with you on the road. You'll be able to simply rest your supported device right on top of it for wireless charging without needing a cable. Apple noted that, when using the AirPower, your device will display a specific charging interface (similar to the way the Apple Watch features a charging interface and NightStand mode when charging on its side). (Lory Gil)

Because the new iPhones (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X) will be designed with glass backs, there's new potential for wireless charging, which will essentially render your lightning port next to useless if you're already on that wireless headphone kick.

Goodbye, Home button, and hello Face ID

The removal of the Home button this year was like the removal of the headphone jack last year: people are going to be mad at it for a while, but ultimately they'll adapt.

That being said, it's time to say goodbye to the Home button with the introduction of the iPhone X and Face ID, meaning you'll no longer have to worry about pesky fingerprints to access your precious iPhone ever again: all you'll need is your face!

Face ID is Apple's new biometric unlocking mechanism that it's introducing with the iPhone X. Using the front-facing cameras, an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and a dot projector, the iPhone scans your face with techniques like depth mapping in order to tell if it's really you. Apple touts the security of Face ID, saying the chances of someone being able to open your iPhone X with their face are 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID). Furthermore, the system can't be tricked by photographs or even perfectly-sculpted masks. Face ID also works with Apple Pay and third-party apps, just like Touch ID does. (Joseph Keller)

PORTRAIT MODE SELFIES

Honestly, this is the main thing I'm excited about regarding the iPhone X.

Why?

BECAUSE PORTRAIT SELFIES, THAT'S WHY. Do I really need to explain this?! Everyone's selfies are going to look 1,000x better.

Goodbye, Instagram boyfriend. Hello, selfie Portrait Mode! 🤳🏼

What are you most excited about?

Are you super pumped about a specific feature that's coming with the iPhone X? Is there a particular reason you're attracted to the iPhone 8 Plus over the iPhone X or vice versa?

Let us know what you think in the comments below and if you'll be picking up one of the new iPhones!

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

30 Comments
  • It could be a sign of my age, but I'm not intrigued to put faux-masks on my face, or having a poop emoji sound like me and mirror my facial expressions. I also think that the phone looks too much like the current flagship Samsung phones. While these two things won't make me dump all of my Apple products or give up my current iPhone, I can certainly say that this will be the first year I won't be buying a new one :(
  • The 8 and 8 plus still retain the home button, with the new A11 chip and wireless charging. I think that’s where I’m leaning.
  • The face mask thing was neat when it was in an app 2 years ago and yes, Apple will do it better, but..who cares? That and the emoji thing is great for teenagers and the like who will not be the audience for the iPhone X. Will Face ID be better than touch ID? I'm thinking maybe not, but we have to get over it. As we have seen, Apple does what's best for Jony Ive's design philosophy and not what is best for the user. They call it bravery, but it's just shoving their concepts on the user. Hard core Apple fans will rationalize it as they always do. I use everything (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS) and I hate making compromises. Apple compromises features for the sake of design (USB-C, headphone jack, Face ID). Their pricing strategy is interesting; iPhone X at 64 and 256gb. That tells you that 64gb is gonna be trouble, so you have to step up to... I love how they sold the Apple Watch as the 'same size' being a feature too! They're good at marketing and they have a loyal fan base that will utilize confirmation bias to it's full extent!
  • If you were not aware of the outside tech world this was a great keynote with exciting features. For those people that know tech it was more meh then anything but there were some nice surprises like portrait lighting.
    Watch sucked, tv is behind the competition still and the iPhone 8 were antiqued when the x was announced.
  • Just disappointed.
  • iPhone X all the way. FaceID will knock it out of the park. Apple takes their time on features and makes sure the technology matches up with the user experience. I understand all the apprehension on FaceID but apple will not release it half-bake. It will simply just work.
  • iTunes
  • I still haven't gotten over Apple removing the headphone jack. Haven't bought an iPhone since.
  • The world is going to be "less wires". I think you will have to get over it at some point.
  • Maybe at some point, but right now my 6 plus is still operating as if it is brand new, and as long as Apple sells the SE I'll still be covered.
  • Repetitive stress injury from the iPhone 6. Would like the X but it is even larger than the 6. Will likely stay with the SE but am anxious for iOS 11 and Watch OS 4.
  • Love my SE. Apple magic, done modestly.
  • Maybe, but at the rate I burn through wired headsets: lost, washed, ruined by sweat or rain, gunked up by earwax, I really can't see spending so much on expensive wireless headsets. Plus, just another **** thing to charge...and not forget when I dress or change. The earwax thing is particularly vexing in an apple product anyway. Those tiny, non-serviceable grills are the pits. Mostly any attempt at cleaning them just squeezes more earwax into the earpiece.
  • Apple needs to develop a product which repels earwax!
  • Everything that Apple announced today looks like they’ll be great devices. But, they didn’t announce anything that really wowed me. Every year since the 3G iPhone I have stayed up to pre-order the new iPhone. Not this year. I will wait until I have a chance to test one out. iPhone X Pros:
    - Gorgeous screen (except the ears)
    - Bigger screen than Plus in a smaller package (hope they add a 6.3” model next yr)
    - Processor will likely be a beast
    - AR iPhone X Cons:
    - Price. Nice phone, but not sure it’s $1,149 nice
    - Removal of Touch ID.
    - Glass back, doesn’t look as good as metal
    - Stop calling it wireless charging IT ISN’!
    - Screen “ears” look goofy
    - New gestures for Control Center, multitasking, etc
    - Name. Why not bring iPhone in line with iPad and Mac? Get rid of numbers altogether.
    - Rumored function bar/iPad like dock not there. iOS home screen really needs a refresh.
  • I'm curious what you think makes it not wireless charging. You set your phone down on a pad so it can charge, without connecting any wires to the phone. That's what wireless charging is on every other phone. What's missing?
  • Because it still requires a wire to the pad. And actually this form of wireless charging actually makes your phone less usable while its charging. You cannot charge your phone and use it at the same time with a "wireless" charging pad. Ill be excited about true wireless charging when it comes out. Like a WiFi base station, when your phone is in range, it will be able to charge your phone while its in your hands or pocket. Then it will be truly wireless charging.
  • Technically, it’s “inductive” charging, like what the Watch uses. True “wireless” charging, which I’m sure they’re working on, would be power transmitted over Wi-Fi or something like that.
  • WiFi charging would still require wires to your house. :) I think everyone know what wireless is in this context. Now living not far from Tesla's former lab, (the inventor, not the car company), I ca only dream of real wireless charging. :)
  • I really thought that I wanted "wireless" charging until I got it. Then I found that, unlike when charging on a wire, I could not pick it up and use while it was charging, I realized that I did not really want it after all.
  • Total fail. They didn't put a fax machine on the Apple Watch.
    Seriously, I was blown away by the tangible stuff like all the photo goodies and an LTE Watch, but much more so by the deep technology in A11 chip, in depth sensors, and in whatever they did inside the Apple Watch to get LTE and battery life. Apple's deep tech investments may now be beyond the reach of competitors in Mobile and wearables.
  • Probably, I will buy the X iPhone for this last time and that's it. In Europe and in Portugal as I need the 256 Gby model (I could work with the 128 Gby if there was one) and as Apple is doing some very "nice" conversions between dollars and euros, it will cost me 1.615.57 US$. They are really ripping us off. I know. As I said, I'll probably buy this last one (dumb me) but it is too much. And I'll say goodbye to Apple and iPhones after more than 10 years with them.
    I'm done.
  • Was not really impressed at all. Series 3 watch was nice. Cellular function will be nice. Will probably update my watch and stay with my 6s. The Palm Pre, what 10 years ago, had so-called wireless charging. Not wowed at all!! Taking emoji? Seriously. Teenager stuff at best.
  • For months now, i was sooo excited to upgrade to the X model....until yesterday. Dont get me wrong, i think its a great device however, after seeing what the 8+ has to offer, i think thats where im headed. Other than the display, i can basically get the same phone, while saving hundreds of dollars doing it. Now i will be getting the watch for the first time, but not sure i need the cell feature for an extra hundred bucks; may just get the gps version instead
  • I'm visually impaired and to be honest, I found Touch ID was more secure than my face especially if you have to pay for things but I'll go for the previous versions of iPad and iPhone for now until it does actually work in time on the iPhone X. Question, does the iPhone 8 have Touch ID or Face ID? I would rather have both.
  • Stuck between 8 plus and x basically same thing except facial recognition. Only thing I like about x is live emojis. But not sure if really want to spend extra couple hundred of dollars. Other than that to me it basically is same phone
  • Sparkey - 8 has Touch ID only.
  • When they make an iPhone that will take pictures, as clear and as vibrant (not washed out) as my friends Galaxy, without making a ton of adjustments, then I will get excited! Masks and Emojis, I don't need a toy, I need a technologically superior tool. Then if I want to add "an app for that", then I will. Come on Apple, non-breakable screen (without a bullet proof case), waterproof iPhone (without an underwater case), if you're going to use biometrics, use iris scan.
  • "Bigger screen than Plus in a smaller package" Though one of my favorite phones ever was the little Drois Eris, I am doing more and more with my phone where a bigger screen would be better. But I still don't care to carry a big phone. So larger screen in a not bigger case is big for me. I update more when my old one gets old, and there are new features that make sense for me. I think these new phone are reasonable upgrades. I currently have a 6. (With a nice wireless battery case I really like, and it would be really nice if in addition to my home chargers, the new phone worked with my magnetic wireless car charger, which I really like.) I'm considering a new one, though I can see features of the X trickeling down to the other models. My son's 5 is getting long in the tooth, needs a battery, doesn't do Apple Pay, and he likely will get one of these as an upgrade/graduation/birthday present. Those he is considering the 7.
  • 8 is around 4-500 less than X; for that difference, I can wait until the XI is the same effective price as the 8 today. Technology vis-a-vis time are the great equalizers.