Apple Makes iPhone 7 More Rugged, Watertight Minus Headphone Jack - Page 2

In this case, the new camera on the iPhone includes image stabilization on both versions of the phone, not just the Plus version, as in the past.

The new 12-megapixel camera uses a 4-LED flash and a lens with an f1.8 aperture for better low-light photography. The new camera allows RAW file capture, an image format that uses unprocessed binary data from the camera. This feature previously had been the domain of DSLR cameras.

The iPhone 7 Plus actually contains two cameras on the rear: one with a wide-angle lens and the other with a telephoto lens. This allows the phone to use optical zoom capability and use both cameras simultaneously for special effects such as a narrow depth of field.

Of course, the primary function of a smartphone is wireless communications—if only so you'll have a better way to upload your cat videos. So a smartphone needs to keep communicating long enough to be useful.

To accomplish this, Apple has improved the radios in the iPhone 7 to support LTE Advanced, which in turn allows data transfer speeds of up to 450M bps. Right now only T-Mobile has a network that's substantially built out to handle this speed, but the other carriers are working on it.

Battery life always has been an issue with recent generation iPhones, although it's less of an issue with the iPhone 6S than it had been. The iPhone 7 uses its quad-core technology to reduce consumption by routing low-intensity tasks (such as checking email) to a pair of high-efficiency processors, while routing high-intensity tasks (such as gaming) to the high-performance processors. The GPU in the new A10 processor has reduced power consumption capabilities.

It's no surprise that the new design also means new color options for the iPhone case. But that also means Apple has eliminated other color options. Space Gray and white are gone.

The five colors now available are silver, gold, rose gold, black and jet black. The jet black seems to be a premium offering, and those phones will only be available with 128GB and 256GB memory configurations.

The new iPhone 7 can be pre-ordered starting Sept. 9 with sales starting Sept. 16. But whether you move immediately to upgrade your iPhone depends a great deal on whether you need the features it offers.

This is especially true if your business depends on devices that require access to the analog jack, in which case the best approach is going to be to start small with a single iPhone 7 and see how the headphones and other accessories work with the Lightning port. While it should work, it may require some software adjustments before it actually works reliably.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...