TECH

Why Apple Skipped iPhone 9 And Went Straight To iPhone X

Plus cool stuff the new handset can do.

08/11/2017 12:57 PM AEDT | Updated 08/11/2017 12:58 PM AEDT
Getty Images
The iPhone X launched in Australia last week.

It turns out people do not like surprises. At the same time Apple announced they would be releasing the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus back in September they also revealed the iPhone X (roman numeral for 10) would be following shortly after, and it went on sale in Australia last week.

The first question everyone had (besides if you're meant to say X or 10 -- the answer is 10 by the way) is 'why did they skip 9?' Simple -- it's the 10 year anniversary of when the first iPhone was unveiled.

One of the first changes you'll notice is the removal of the Home button. In its place is a simple swipe up motion -- it seems odd at first but takes you about half a day to get used to. From there you forget a Home button ever existed.

Engadget日本版
The removal of the Home button means that the display now takes up pretty much the phone screen.

The removal of the home button meant that Apple were able to design a screen to go all the way to the edges, so while the actual device itself is smaller than the 8 Plus, the screen is is bigger than the 8 Plus display.

No Home button also means there's new ways to do a few of your favourite commands. Press and hold the button on the right side for Siri, quickly press and release the right side and volume up button to screenshot, and press and hold the right side button and either volume button to turn the phone off.

You'll also notice pretty much right away that the handset is heavier. Not by much and not in an annoying way -- more so in that it feels like a more premium product. That's thanks to the surgical-grade stainless steel it's made from. It's also coated in the most durable glass ever on a smartphone.

Face ID is one of the coolest new technologies featured in the phone. Unlocking your device with your face is now an option in addition to a fingerprint or passcode. The Apple team worked for a couple of years to perfect it so as to protect your privacy -- you're unable to unlock it with a photo, a mask or if someone is sleeping.

It's also safer than the fingerprint -- the probability that a random person could unlock it using Face ID is approximately one in 1,000,000, versus one in 50,000 for Touch ID. The technology is able to recognise your face from heaps of angles and up to an arms length away from your head, meaning many times you'll pick up your phone and it'll unlock without having to hold it directly up to your face -- you'll barely notice it's even happening.

Getty Images
Setting up Face ID is easy. It scans your face while you draw an imaginary circle with your nose in the air a few times and you're ready to go.

Face ID is smart enough to know if you're around people or by yourself. It'll show you iMessage, Messenger and email previews if you're the one near it but will hide the previews if anyone else looks at your handset. That means no one can sneakily read your stuff.

Where Face ID gets really fun, though, is the new Animojis. The TrueDepth reverse camera analyzes over 50 different different facial muscle movements and turns them into one of 12 animated emojis, including a cat, dog, robot, unicorn or pig. You can then text the clip to anyone in iMessage.

Engadget
Arguably the best new feature. It's definitely the most fun, anyway.

Here's what it looks like in action:

Speaking of the TrueDepth reverse camera, your selfie game is at its best with iPhone X. Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting (in Beta phase) is now available on the front facing camera which means better quality selfies than ever before -- the photos look like they were taken on a professional camera.

Video has had a bunch of improvements, too -- it has the best video capture quality ever in a smartphone and shoots 4K video at 60 frames per second. The handset boasts the same wireless charging as the 8 and 8 plus and it's water, splashes and dust resistant.

The iPhone X comes in two new finishes -- space grey and silver and starts at $1,579.

More On This Topic