Mobile features in the iPhone 7: Eight key improvements

By Jonathan Hassell

The iPhone 7 has been released, boasting new designs and developments that are sure to thrill those who make the leap to the new device.

The following are eight areas of major improvement to iPhone 7 mobile features:

1. A new external body design

The iPhone’s camera housing is directly etched into the aluminum body, and the antenna is almost entirely contained within the high-gloss, mirror-like aluminum case. Finish options include black, jet black, silver and rose gold.

2. Home button

A fixture of the iPhone since the beginning, this button has been redesigned to be more responsive and customizable. It also gains force sensitivity through the new-generation taptic engine.

3. Resistance to water and dust

The iPhone 7 series’ new enclosure is water and dust-resistant, which is perhaps the most meaningful mobility improvement for many people. This was accomplished with new seals and adhesives, and though it’s not quite swim-certified like the new Apple Watch, it’s certainly better than just getting a case and praying you don’t drop it into a puddle.

4. An improved camera

One of the most beloved iPhone mobile features, the camera, sees a number of improvements in this device refresh, including the following:

  • Apple added an optical image stabilizer in all iPhones (7 and 7 Plus) and a wider F1.8 aperture that lets 50 percent more light onto the sensor.
  • A new six-element lens gives a sharper image, and the camera apparatus adds a new 12-megapixel sensor that is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy-efficient.
  • The True Tone flash feature now has 4 LEDs that produce 50 percent more light. An added flicker sensor reads the flickering of artificial lighting and compensates for it in the photos you take.
  • The brains of the camera, the image signal processor, is new and has twice the throughput of previous versions. It uses machine learning to look at the scene and read for humans and objects, sets the color and white balance of the image, sharpens its focus, reduces noise, enhances tone mapping and can take multiple photos and fuse them together to improve the resulting image. It does all of this in 25 milliseconds every time you take a photo.
  • For developers, there are better APIs to work with the camera, and you can now grab RAW image files. For selfie lovers, there’s a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera on the front with wide color capture and auto image stabilization. The iPhone 7 Plus gets a second rear camera that does optical zoom for the first time — all previous zoom features have been software-based.

5. Display

The Retina HD display on today’s models is already impressive, but on the iPhone 7 series, it’s 25 percent brighter, has a wider color gamut and has end-to-end color management. The iPhone 7 screen also has a 3-D touch layer that apps can work with to enable more directed, specific functionality.

6. Audio

The speakers built into the iPhone have been improved — for the first time, they are now stereo speakers, with one at the bottom and one at the top. These new speakers pump out twice the volume of the current speakers and sound better because they have an increased dynamic range.

7. Only one port

The rumors are now confirmed: there is no headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Instead, Apple wants you to listen over devices that connect through the Lightning port. The company claims it’s for both power and control of your devices, as well as getting a digital audio stream. Though many users may find this to be a really big miss, the minor relief is that Apple will include an adapter for traditional headphones and audio devices in the iPhone box at no additional charge.

8. Performance

The iPhone 7 series’ new A10 Fusion chip is a quad-core CPU, with two of them considered high-performance cores (40 percent faster than the A9 chip) and the other two considered high-efficiency cores that run at 20 percent power. A performance controller assists in getting the right processes where they need to go. There’s also a new GPU: a six-core graphics chip that is 50 percent faster than the A9 in the iPhone 6 series. Even with all of this, Apple claims the iPhone 7 will deliver the longest battery life ever in an iPhone, with an average of two hours more power than the iPhone 6. In addition, the Plus model will gain an additional hour over its immediate predecessor.

It remains to be seen how these mobile features will fare among both avid Apple fans and casual users, but it’s clear the iPhone 7 is a step forward in mobile innovation.

Image Source: Flickr

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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