I just finished watching the Apple iPhone 7 event. I’ll attempt to describe what was in the Keynote speech and how the new software and products will be good for archaeology. Let’s get to it!
Apps are being developed for archaeology all the time. Well, not all the time, but, most of the time. I always get asked whether we’re going to develop for Android or not. Of course we are, but, we develop for Apple first because there are more downloads in the AppStore compared to competitors and the Apple platforms are simply more durable and powerful. So, Android is on the list, but, we develop for the best, most stable, platforms first.
Games – Mario Brothers
Super Mario Run – a great time waster for you 30-40 something archaeologists. Promotes playing the game one-handed for the first time – play while holding a trowel! Available by Christmas.
Apple’s program to get hardware in the hands of students – good opportunity to get archaeology software in front of students as well. And, on a platform that is durable and powerful.
Real-Time collaboration with iWork apps.
Apps on Mac, iPad, and iPhone, including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, and real-time collaboration can now make Apple more competitive with Google. And, these apps work better than Google and Microsoft apps on Apple devices. The demo showed three people working on a slide deck all at the same time. I like this because I’m a Keynote user. I’ve never liked PowerPoint or the Google Slides so this could be really powerful. Also, the more we can move away from Microsoft, the better.
Apple Watch is the number 2 selling watch in the world behind Rolex and the number 1 smart watch in the world. I’ve had one since they came out a year ago and I love it. This is a powerful device for archaeology if you use it right. Most of the time while I’m working I leave my phone in my pack while receiving notifications. It’s great. Now, with the new GPS chip in Series 2 (see below) it just became even more powerful.
Here are some of the features of the new Apple Watch and Watch OS3.
- Apps Launch Instantly
- New Dock for Apps
- New Faces
- Writing on the screen for notes
- Activity sharing
- Watch reminds you to do a deep breathing exercise every day
- Contact emergency services within seconds
- Available September 13th.
Pokemon Go – basically a fitness app now. You can start a walk – track calories, miles, hatch eggs, and find out where Pokemon are.
Apple Watch Series 2
- Water proof – used for swimming – water resistant to 50 m
- Dual core processor 50% faster
- 2x graphics on the new GPU
- Brightest display every – great for bright sunlight – like when you’re surveying.
- Built-in GPS.
- New case – ceramic (in addition to aluminum and stainless steel)
- Available – $369 for Series 2 – Pre-order on September 9th, available the following week.
- The original watch, Series 1, starts at $269 and has the new dual core chip.
I see the waterproofing, brighter display, built-in GPS, and faster processor as being a real boon to future archaeology applications. Imagine seeing your next shovel tests on the watch and tracking your progress and location without a cell signal. Imagine doing light recording of certain aspects and having that information transmit to your mobile device stored in your pack. It’s a brave new world, my friends, and it’s time to reinvent archaeology.
iPhone 7 and 7+
The iPhone 7 is out and comes with the new iOS 10. Here are the features:
- Lift to wake
- Siri for apps that aren’t Apple.
- Machine learning intelligence in the keyboard
- Do more within the Maps app
- Available: September 13th
- Jet Black finish
- Taptic Engine similar to Apple Watch – allows for better notifications
- New enclosure is water and dust resistant. That’s huge for archaeology!
- IP67 Protection Standard
- Optical Image Stabilization
- F1.8 Aperture Lens
- 6 Element Lens – Sharp edge to edge
- 12 MP sensor
- True-Tone flash – 4 LEDs with 50% more light than previous models
- Flicker sensor compensates for artificial lighting
- Image Signal Processor
- Face and Body Detection
- Sets Exposure
- Sets Focus
- White Balances the Color
- Tone Mapping
- Noise Reduction
- Can fuse multiple photos for a perfect image
- Performs 100 billion operations in 25 milli-seconds every time you take a picture.
- APIs for Capturing Live Photos
- Raw camera API
- iPhone 7+ Camera
- Wide-Angle and Telephoto Lens on the back of the 7+
- Wide-Angle and Telephoto allows you to zoom efficiently
- Hardware Zoom to 2x – Software zoom to 10x.
- Bonus Feature: Shallow Depth of Field
- Uses Software to recognize faces and then blurs the background.
- Available to all iPhone 7+ models as a software update later this year.
- Retina HD Display
- 25% Brighter
- Color Management
- 3D Touch
- Stereo Speakers for widescreen listening.
- Twice the volume of previous models
- Lightening Jack
- Power and Control
- Lightening Headphones
- Can get an adapter for regular headphones – comes with the device for free
- Apple Airpods
- Wireless earphones
- Two wireless earphones. No wires between the two.
- Has the new W1 chip.
- Tap tough for Siri
- Knows when they are in your ear.
- 5 hours of listening.
- Case has 24 hours of battery life to recharge the Airpods.
- Auto routing of audio to one headphone if you have just one in.
- Available: Late October
- Cost: $159
- A10 Chip with 3.3 billion transistors
- 40% faster than 6S and 6S+
- 50% faster graphics than the A9
- Graphics takes 2/3s of the power of the A9 Chip giving better battery performance.
- Battery Life
- Longest battery life of any iPhone
- 2 hours more than the 6S, on average
- 1 hour more than the 6S+, on average
- Available for pre-order: September 9th
- Ships: September 16th
- IPhone 7:
- Starts at $649 (32GB, 128GB, and 256GB)
- IPhone 7+
- Starts at $769 (32GB, 128GB, 256GB)
- IPhone Upgrade Program
- New phone every year
- Starts at $32 a month
- IPhone 7:
So, there are a lot of things here that will make archaeology easier, more efficient, and just overall better. Recording a special ArchaeoTech Podcast today. Look for it later this week. We’ll be talking all about this announcement and what it means for the future.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field!!