Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to the audience at last week's Apple event. The company unveiled three new phones, amongst other reveals. (Image via Tech Nova)
Screens /// Thoughts x

Catch me on that group Facetime.

Apple is a wizard.

The smart device company has society mesmerized under its spell, somehow coercing us to buy overpriced technology just because it allows us to send messages in blue chat bubbles.

Apple has built up an incomparable brand and loyal following over the years, one so strong that inconvenient moves like dropping the headphone jack and adding on the cost of expensive bluetooth earphones still did not drag Apple users over to Android stores. It still remains the technology company with the sleek, brilliantly engineered products that never fail to take the markets by storm.

This past week, it announced a couple new designs and ideas at the Apple September event. Here is what you need to know.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, introduce the company’s newest smartphone, the iPhone Xs, Wednesday. (Image via Getty)

1. Three New iPhones

From the Three Musketeers, to the Powerpuff Girls to the wizarding world’s Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there is definitely something to be said about famous trios. Apple decided to hop on that bandwagon and announce the release of not one, not two, but three new iPhones.

Let’s start with the most affordable. At a starting price of $749, the iPhone XR is a lower cost edition of the iPhone X series. It does not have quite as many features as the other two, but it is a stellar smartphone nonetheless.

Now, let’s move on to the real upgrades. The iPhone XS is the first reinvention of the iPhone X. If the iPhone triple threat was group of humans, this 5.8 inch smartphone would be the youngest and newest recruit, overshadowed by his older brother, the iPhone XS Max. The latter is 6.5 inches, an embodiment of the joke about how tablets are shrinking in size while cell phones seem to be growing in size. Will they eventually converge?

2. DSLR who?

The insane quality and capability of smartphone cameras means owning a physical camera is becoming more of an obsolete aesthetic than a necessity to capture life’s moments. Of course, Apple’s new iPhones will come equipped with a new and improved photography experience, with better cameras, a plethora of options and editing features that will turn your average iPhone user into a professional photo editor.

The beloved portrait mode comes with updates: depth of field can be edited even after the picture is taken. I’m not even sure I know what that means, but I sure am excited for high quality impromptu photoshoots.

3. Goodbye, Home Button

Apple has ended the reign of their trademark home button. Nowadays, it is all about face recognition. Why go through the effort of pressing a button when you can just glance at your phone and have it come to life?

4. Facetime … finally … and it’s even more than you wanted

All Apple users have wanted for the past few years is to have the ability to facetime two or three people simultaneously, so that group video calls could be done from the convenience of iMessage rather than another video chatting app.

Well, good news. Apple finally listened. You will now be able to have three way, four way, and up to 32-way Facetime calls. Yep, it’s probably good that screen sizes are getting bigger, because now, thirty two faces have the potential to appear on your phone screen. I can already picture the mass amount of buffering and poor connection when the group chat attempts to squad up via video chat.

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Maya Ramani

University of Virginia

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