The new iPhone 8 raises the bar for the modern smartphone, and introduces a raft of new technology to Apple lovers everywhere. Released this week, the iPhone 8 and its larger sibling the iPhone 8+ bring the expected upgrades and introduces Qi wireless charging for the first time.
While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8+ are new in many ways internally, the outside of the phones is what many Apple addicts anticipated - the same familiar design, screen size, Touch ID home button, Lightning, and improvements to the cameras, battery life, processor speed, and storage.
What many had hoped for - a complete redesign - didn't eventuate. However, we did see the introduction of a satisfying new feature: Qi wireless charging.
Many Apple fans had watched on as a myriad Android-powered phones added fast charging via USB-C, or wireless charging, or a combination of both. Many Apple fans longing for the return of the headphone jack had suggested that Cupertino would even remove the Lightning port entirely when wireless charging was added to the phone. Luckily, this did not happen.
Apple has joined the Qi Wireless Power Consortium, and made the iPhone compatible with Qi wireless chargers. Upon release of the iPhone 8 and 8+ toward the end of September 2017, third party accessory makers such as Belkin and Mophie will take your money and supply you with a wireless charger.
Early in 2018, Apple will release its own wireless charging pad, which will be the first to support charging multiple Qi devices simultaneiously, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and the AirPod Battery Case, all at the same time. This will be delivered as the aptly-named Apple AirPower mat.
What is Apple AirPower?
Widely anticipated for the tenth-anniversary iPhone X, but not expected for the iPhone 8, Apple AirPower is a wireless charging method that allows a phone or battery-powered device to be placed on a charging mat and receive power, to recharge the battery, without being plugged in via a cable.
Of course, the mat itself still requires a power cable from the wall outlet to the mat, but there is no cable between the mat and the phone or other device.
The name "AirPower" does give rise to some interesting speculation, such as being able to charge a device remotely, not while in contact with a pad, through the air. This is not the case this time though.
The unique feature of the Apple AirPower charging mat is that it will be the first charging mat to be able to charge multiple devices simultaneously. For example, you could have your iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and AirPod battery case all charging at the same time, by placing them on the mat.
Retaining the Lightning Port
Some rumour sites had speculated that with the introduction of wireless charging, there would be no further need for the Lightning port, and that Apple would drop it from the next iPhone onwards.
This speculation was ridiculous and the team at the XYZ Media office are happy to see the port stay.
While wireless charging is a great new feature for the iPhone 8, 8+ and the iPhone X, it still requires the separate purchase of a compatible Qi charger. Not all customers will spend the extra money to buy a wireless charger, and Apple's own AirPower mat wont even be available until the start of 2018.
Furthermore, retaining the Lightning port ensures compatibility with other devices, including headphones, adapters, chargers, and connecting the iPhone to your car, HiFi speakers, and a myriad of adapters. Apple simply wont forego the license fees on all of those adapters.
Is it really just a renamed iPhone 7s?
Well, you could say so. There is no 7s or 7s+ in the range. The new phones announced were the iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, and iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten). Similarly, at the moment there is no iPhone 9.
The usual spec-bump from IPhone 6 to iPhone 7 to 7s occurred, with the added feature of wireless charging. Perhaps Apple considered that wireless charging and the accompanying new frame and glass rear panel, along with the integration of most of the features of the iPhone X, were enough to skip the 7s and call it the iPhone 8.
Where is the iPhone X?
The iPhone X has been announced, and will be available for pre-order on 27th October and available for purchase from November 3, 2017.
Where is the iPhone X Plus?
There is no iPhone X Plus. Apple did not announce one, and there is no evidence to suggest that Apple will produce one. The technical detail in integrating a raft of new features into the iPhone X caused enough headaches, without adding a larger screen size and even more manufacturing challenges to the mix.
The screen of the iPhone X is larger than that of the iPhone 8 Plus, so there should be enough screen real estate to satisfy everyone.
More about the iPhone X:
Read more about the iPhone X on XYZtech.
Until next time,
Xavier Zymantas XYZ Media Group