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What’s great about the iPhone X?

Smartphone of the future

The new iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) is billed as the future of smartphones but what makes it so great? For us, there are 2 main things that stand out about this new device.

New hardware

The first key new feature of the iPhone X  is the new neural engine. This is all thanks to a new Apple developed chip A11 Boinic chip. The chip itself is a pair of processing cores which are dedicated to machine learning to allow realtime processing of images and the power required for various new features such as Animoji, Face ID and augmented reality (AR). The pair of cores is capable of handling a staggering 600 billion operations per second which opens up a whole new world of possibilities in image processing and AR.

One of other benefits of this fantastic processing power is that things like speech recognition in applications like Siri can be handled directly on the device rather than being processed by the cloud. This reduces the amount of data transferred between your device and cloud as well as bringing much faster responses to voice commands. On top of this, local commands such as changing music or activating the phone will no longer require an internet connection.

New software

The second thing that stands out on the iPhone X is the new AR kit. While technically this is part of the new iPhone OS, it will really come to life with the power of the iPhone X and it’s neural engine.

The demos of the AR are quite simply breathtaking. The handling of spatial sound and the detail of the rendering is stunning. We’ve only seen the tech demos so far including Warhammer 40,000 and Freeblade but if these are anything to go by we expect to see some fantastic applications being built with AR Kit and Metal 2.

Hopefully this is the start of the AR revolution. While companies like Google have already brought out experimental AR functionalty with Project Tango, these were mostly tech previews aimed at developers rather than the mass population. With Apple releasing ARKit to the legions of developers out there building apps for the iPhone we expect to see a huge upsurge in innovation and new uses for AR in the coming years.

One more thing…

We couldn’t leave it there without mentioning the lack of home button on the iPhone X. Ten years ago we swiped to unlock, 5 years ago we used our finger print to unlock and now 10 years on we are using our faces to unlock. This is supposedly an upgrade in security bringing the chance of someone else being able to unlock your phone down from 50,000 to 1 with Touch ID to 1,000,000 to 1 with Face ID.

We are sitting on the fence on this one as while this sounds like a good idea, only seeing it in action will confirm. I’m sure you’ve all experienced times when your phone would not unlock with Touch ID or simply did not respond to the home button as the device was briefly not responding. How this will affect the usage of the device remains to be seen but if the Apple demo was anything to go by we foresee many use complaints!

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