Apple's bezel-less future, a cellular watch, a 4K box: What it means for us

CEO Tim Cook speaks after the Apple TV 4K was revealed at the event. Photo Reuters
Some weeks ago, I was watching a video of the Essential Phone, from Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s firm. A fully bezel-less screen (but for the front camera cut-out at the top); a stunning display (though not an AMOLED screen); and pure Android (okay, not Oreo). 

What stood out was the screen. And while some dark status bars masked the cut-out, most app windows would stop just below it. Samsung’s Galaxy 8 range (including the Note 8 launched on Tuesday) feature the Infinity display, which essentially means a nearly all-screen front, with just two strips of metal at the top and bottom. Again on Tuesday, Apple took the wraps off the iPhone X which features a bezel-less design (with an OLED screen) and a strip housing the TrueDepth camera module, which helps unlock the phone after scanning your face. 

If current design trends are anything to go by, we’re truly headed towards a bezel-less future for flagships. But, while I’m all for such a future with brilliant screens, one can’t discount the propensity of these screens to shatter, if one drops them. Thus, a protective case is a given.

But the iPhone X with its cutting-edge bionic features wasn’t the only product Apple unveiled at the event. There was a refresh to its regular line-up, with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as successors to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (Has Apple ditched the practice of adding an “S” to the previous generation and going in for a new name every alternate year? Or is it a one-off as this is the 10th year of the iPhone and hence the iPhone X, that is iPhone “ten”). Apple also refreshed its Watch line-up, adding cellular capability to some Series 3 models, though it is not known yet when these would reach Indian shores. And yes, it comes with the caveat that the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) needs an iPhone 6 running iOS 11 or later and the carriers for both the watch and the phone need to be the same. Good luck with that in India!

However, the first thing that Apple launched that evening, and which has become a footnote in most reports is something I had been waiting for a long time. I’m talking about the Apple TV 4K, for which I’m ready to put money on the table — right now. While many would snigger at why I’m interested in an “underpowered” TV box, I’m sure they haven’t seen the Apple TV’s prowess as a casual gaming device. Agreed that one could achieve something like this using a smartphone and smart TV, but the idiot-proof concept of an Apple TV is something I appreciate. Also, with 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision support, the Apple TV would finally do justice to the audio-visual gear you’ve invested in. With Siri and support for Apple Home built in, you should be able to do a whole lot more sitting on your couch in the living room. And if you, like me, are heavily invested in iTunes, this is an easier way to consume your media in your living room, without having to take the help of any iPad, iPhone or Mac.

Apple also made a significant announcement for people who have to travel a lot: The new devices support Qi wireless charging, and that means carrying just one wireless mat to charge them all! That’s music to many ears.

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