What’s New in iPhones 8, 8 Plus, X, and iOS 11

By Dwight Spivey

Apple’s iPhone gets its features from a combination of hardware and its software operating system (called iOS; the term is short for iPhone operating system). The most current version of the operating system is iOS 11. It’s helpful to understand which new features the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X (pronounced “ten”) models and iOS 11 bring to the table (all of which are covered in more detail in this book).

New features in iPhone 8 and 8 Plus include

  • Splash, water, and dust resistance: Your new iPhone is resistant to damage caused by water splashing onto it or from dust collecting within it.

    iPhone 7’s warranty doesn’t cover water or dust damage. Water and dust resistant doesn’t mean water and dust proof.

    Now, you don’t want to take your iPhone deep-sea diving, but it’s likely to survive submersion in about a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Mind you, this number has been tested in a lab, and isn’t based on real-world conditions. In other words, if your iPhone gets wet it’s much more likely to survive the ordeal than previous iPhone iterations, but it still isn’t something you’d like to see happen to your expensive investment.

  • An A11 Bionic chip: No, owning a new iPhone won’t make you the Six-Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman, but it will provide you with one really nice power boost over previous iterations. This chip has been tested and demonstrated by third parties to perform as well as some Mac laptop chips (and completely blows top-of-the-line Android devices out of the water). Your iPhone will be able to handle pretty much any task you can throw at it with ease.
  • Glass bodies and wireless charging: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus both boast all-glass bodies, which not only look great, but also allow you the option of wireless charging. Wireless charging gives you the ability to simply lay your iPhone onto a wireless charger pad to give it an energy boost.

    This wireless charging thing is no joke. Imagine being able to charge your iPhone by simply laying it on a table in a coffee shop, or an airport, or in your car, or any other place a wireless charging pad can be incorporated. You’ll never need to worry again if you’ve forgotten your charger cable! While wireless charging isn’t new to the smartphone market, Apple’s adoption of it is. Therefore, you’re about to see wireless charging stations in almost every conceivable place. And you’ll love it — guaranteed.

  • A 12MP rear-facing camera: The camera in iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offers such features as a larger lens aperture (which allows for more light and better nighttime photos) and optical image stabilization (providing sharper images with longer exposure than previous iPhone versions).
  • A 7MP front-facing camera: The front-facing camera now supports a higher resolution and wide color capture, making FaceTime calls and selfies much sharper and more vibrant.
  • Stereo speakers and no headphone jack: You can listen to audio in stereo and with deeper bass, with speakers on both ends of the enclosure. This also allows the volume to be much louder from the external speakers than before. You can also connect your Earpods (included with your iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) via the Lightning connector.

    Don’t worry if you have a set of headphones you prefer that use the old 3.5mm headphone jacks. Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus ship with an adapter for connecting 3.5mm headphone jacks to the Lightning connector.

 

  • The Retina HD display: The new displays in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support True Tone to help match the display color to the ambient lighting, affording a more natural experience. The color gamut of the display is also wider, providing richer colors than ever before.

Apple claims to have taken the smartphone into the future with its newest premium iPhone model, the iPhone X. The X is premium in every way, including price, but for some users the cost may be small compared to the return. New features introduced with iPhone X include

  • An A11 Bionic chip: The iPhone X also includes the new A11 Bionic chip, and that’s a good thing. The truly innovative tech in X demands a processor that can handle some heavy lifting, while still being able to answer calls and retrieve email.
  • Glass body and wireless charging: Like iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X is comprised of an all-glass body (with a tiny sliver of stainless steel around the edges to hold it all together), allowing a beautiful appearance and wireless charging. The glass is also the most durable of that used in any smartphone ever, according to Apple.

    Don’t read that as unbreakable. Cases are still a good idea.

  • Edge-to-Edge display: iPhone X is Apple’s first edge-to-edge display, meaning there’s nothing else on the front of your iPhone but screen. Which brings me to my next point.
  • No Home button: That’s right, the method you’ve used for a decade now to return to the Home screen is now a thing of the past with this iPhone model. You simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to provide the same effect as pressing the Home button. This also means that Touch ID is a thing of the past. Therefore, there’s a new recognition tool.
  • Facial Recognition: Touch ID is being replaced on iPhone X with Face ID. Using Face ID and the front-facing camera, your iPhone X unlocks when it recognizes your face.

Any iPhone device from the iPhone 5s forward can use most features of iOS 11 if you update the operating system (discussed in detail in Chapter 3); this book is based on version 11 of iOS. This update to the operating system adds many features, including

  • Much-improved Control Center: Control Center allows you to quickly access many of your iPhone’s features by simply swiping up on your screen. Control Center has been streamlined and the new interface is simpler to navigate. You can also customize Control Center to contain only items that you use often.
  • Siri improvements: Siri now sounds like a more natural voice, and translates into several languages.
  • Improvements to the Notes app: With iOS 11, Notes takes another giant leap forward. Tables are easy to add, handwriting is supported, and drag-and-drop is a great new tool. You can also use Notes to scan paper documents!
  • Files app: Finally, Apple has delivered a great app called Files that allows you to browse the files stored on your iPhone. You can also use it to browse and work with files you’ve stored on other cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Improvements to Maps: Maps has always been great for getting around on the road, but now Maps shines when helping you navigate interiors. New built-in maps help guide you in unfamiliar public buildings, such as airports.
  • Store many more photos and videos than ever before: iOS 11 is the first version of iOS that uses a new compression format for photos and videos. High-quality photos and videos take up much less storage on your iPhone.

Don’t need or use all the built-in apps? You can remove them from your Home screen. When you remove a built-in app from your Home screen, you aren’t deleting it — you’re hiding it. The is due to security reasons that are beyond the scope of this book. However, the built-in apps take up very little of your iPhone’s storage space, and they can easily be added back to your Home screen by searching for them in the App Store and tapping the Get button.

These are but a very few of the improvements made to the latest version of iOS. Visit Apple’s site to find out more.