Core blimey! This Ap­ple’s got X ap­peal

Sunday Tribune - - ONLINE -

CORE blimey! This Ap­ple’s got X ap­peal. The new iphone X may be the most ex­pen­sive smart­phone on the mar­ket, but it’s also one of the most beau­ti­ful and fea­ture rich, and marks a wel­come re­turn to form for Ap­ple as it cel­e­brates the 10th an­niver­sary of the orig­i­nal iphone.

Sport­ing a gor­geous 5.8-inch border­less OLED screen, wire­less charg­ing and 3D fa­cial recog­ni­tion, the X, un­veiled at Ap­ple’s new “space­ship” HQ in Cal­i­for­nia on Tues­day, is un­doubt­edly the big­gest change to its flag­ship in years. It in­tro­duces – and in some cases im­proves on – fea­tures com­peti­tors have had for a while.

By fi­nally in­tro­duc­ing a beze­less dis­play, Ap­ple joins man­u­fac­tur­ers like Sam­sung and LG in of­fer­ing a de­vice with a large screen that’s still eas­ily held in one hand. With the en­tire front face of the phone taken up by the “Su­per Retina” dis­play – apart from a small cut out at the top for the cam­era and depth sen­sor clus­ter – the iphone X is the most am­bi­tious im­ple­men­ta­tion of the border­less con­cept yet, ex­cept for per­haps Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2, re­leased just a day ear­lier.

This does mean that there’s now no room for a phys­i­cal home but­ton, a fix­ture on every iphone since 2007. In­stead, users will tap the screen to wake up the phone, and swipe up from the bot­tom to nav­i­gate back to the home screen and swipe and hold to launch the app switcher.

Out with the home but­ton went the fin­ger­print reader. In­stead of mov­ing this to the back of the de­vice as other man­u­fac­tur­ers have done, Ap­ple opted to do away with this bio­met­ric se­cu­rity fea­ture al­to­gether. In­stead, iphone X users will use Ap­ple’s new 3D face recog­ni­tion to un­lock the de­vice and ap­prove App Store and Ap­ple Pay pur­chases.

Ap­ple says its ver­sion of the tech­nol­ogy, called Face ID, is bet­ter and more se­cure than that found in com­pet­ing smart­phones al­though, em­bar­rass­ingly, a live demo at the launch failed to work de­spite sev­eral at­tempts, forc­ing Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tive, Craig Fed­erighi, to switch to a back-up de­vice.

Let’s hope Ap­ple irons out this glitch be­fore the phone starts ship­ping or it could face a back­lash from users with no other bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion to fall back on.

This face map­ping tech pow­ers a new an­i­mated emoji fea­ture called watch­ers and Ap­ple fans alike.

For up­dates on lo­cal avail­abil­ity and pric­ing of the new iphones and other new Ap­ple de­vices, fol­low Alan Cooper on Twit­ter: @alan­q­cooper.

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