STEM

The evolution and development of the iPhone

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

iphone x

Infographic summarizing key pros and cons of the new iphone xs series created using piktochart. (Ella Fitzpatrick/ Ethic infographic)

 

On June 29, 2007 Steve Jobs unveiled the first touch screen iPhone, which shocked the world with not only its new impressive development in technology and resulting high price, but also by removing certain aspects of flip phones that customers were so used to. For example, people did not appreciate that the phone was not 3G. There was no physical keyboard, and the screen did not have a stylus. Customers and critics believed that Apple was entering a bottomless pit, and many believed that this iPhone would not be as successful as the iPod. However, after a decade of improvements and various versions, the Apple iPhones are now some of the most successful phones in the world.

There are a total of 18 models of iPhones that have been made, all with features that are either the same as other iPhones or some that differ. On Sept. 12, 2018, at its annual fall product event held at the Steve Jobs theater in the Apple park campus, Apple released three new iPhones: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and an Apple watch. These new models are quite similar to the last iPhone X product Apple released on Nov. 3, 2017. With the newly released iPhones being so similar to the iPhone X, Apple has pulled all iPhone X phones out of stores. What made these products so similar was the face recognition software. This major development in technology had feedback, but there was always room for improvements in the model. Customers found it hard to open the phone by sliding up, and it took them many tries before they could get into it. Customers were also upset when they found out that they could not get into their phones when the phones were face up on a flat surface, forcing them to wait for the padlock to finally appear moments later. Additionally, many also found it frustrating to use the new user interface since there were several required gestures and steps to navigate it. Another downside to the iPhone X was the awful notch at the top of the screen where the camera is located. Past iPhones had a straight line at the top of the screen but for current and future generations of iPhones, they will keep this alteration. Although Apple’s goal was to give customers more screen space, when watching full screen videos or putting a picture on screen, the notch cuts out a big portion. Sadly this notch houses a camera system which makes face ID possible.

Apple and other companies including Otterbox have made many protective screen covers and cases to protect iPhones, and in the past all iPhones were made and sold with a glass screen and metal backing. However, with the iPhone X (2017 model), iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, Apple changed the iPhones exterior and surrounded it with glass. Even though this glass gives the phone a slik, flawless look, it is easy to drop and break this $1000 device.

Since the first iPhone, there has always been a home button located at the bottom of the iPhone. It was easy to reach, and little movement of the finger was necessary to navigate the phone.  With the iPhone X (2017 Model) and the new line of X iPhones, customers have to slide up the bottom and it is difficult for some to adapt to new modifications. Even though the Apple iPhones offer a touch screen home button, that home button is still on the screen taking up even more screen space.

Apple did not address these problems for the new iPhones XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR models. Yes, the notch will still be at the top of the iPhones that holds the technology for the face recognition software, and there still will not be a home button, but they have made big improvements with these new iPhones. They have increased screen size from 5.8 inches to 6.4 inches, which is a big improvement for giant tech and Apple. Apple has also developed more colors other than black for the iPhone XR including white, red, blue, coral, and yellow. iPhone XR is significantly cheaper starting at a selling price of $749. It will have 1.5 more battery life per day compared to the iPhone 8 Plus or the iPhone XS.  Apple has added an extra 256 GB for both iPhones XS and XS Max. The camera will still be the same camera that was on the iPhone X (2017), but customers will get more camera with this model than with the older model. The camera’s algorithm and HDR will be able to identify highlights and find shadow details, which will detect people’s bodies and faces. Apple has also added a portrait mode called the bokeh effect that allows customers to have complete control over the blur and depth of the photo.

With the new iPhones XS, XR, and XS Max, we will see just how much Apple has changed and evolved over the 12 years of making iPhones. We will see if Apples claims are true about the developments of these new iPhones.

Categories: STEM

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