iPhone 7: No headphone jack but dramatically overhauled cameras

Water resistance is the other new capability in this year's minor iPhone update

iphone 7 jet black

The rumors were true: Apple's next-generation iPhones, the 7 and 7 Plus, traded the headphone jack for Lightning EarPods. Now there's one port instead of two. The company is including Lightning-connected EarPods with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Apple is also including a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in the box to avoid excessive outrage.

The new iPhones go on sale Sept. 16. They also improve their cameras and are water-resistant. Apple also announced new "swim-proof" Apple Watches and enhancements to its iWork suite that allow collaborative editing similar to what Office 365 and Google Apps offer.

The roar around audio

But on social media, the conversation has been about the end of the audio jack. So why that lack of a jack?

"It's been with us for a really long time,” Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said during Apple's iPhone presentation otoday. "It comes down to courage -- courage to move on, do something new that betters all of us."

That something new is a wireless standard in the form of a product called Apple AirPods. The new W1 chip offers consistent playback that only starts playing when the pods are in your ear. You can double-tap a pod to access Siri.

What else is new in the iPhone 7

Both iPhone 7 models are water-resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes with an IP67 rating. Both pack new stereo speakers at the top and bottom into the same slim body as the 6s.

Aside from being splashproof, the iPhone 7's marquee feature is a dramatically improved camera. Both the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch 7 Plus have a wider f/1.8 aperture to capture more light, 6-element lens, high-speed 12-megapixel sensors, quad-LED True Tone flash, a new sensor to compensate for flickering lights, wide color capture, and optical image stabilization. The 7 Plus, as long rumored, has two 12-megapixels cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, and the other with a 56mm telephoto lens. Both cameras have zoom.

Shallow depth of field, called bokeh, is something you can usually only achieve with a DSLR's full frame sensor or a giant lens. The iPhone 7 Plus camera accomplishes it easily -- just tap the new Portrait option in the iOS Camera app coming in a free iOS update later this year to preview it automatically.

The iPhone 7 -- which now comes in black and jet black (matte vs. glossy) in addition to silver, gold, and rose gold -- is moving from a mechanical Home button to a solid-state Force Touch button with a taptic engine so you'll feel vibrations when you press it. Apple is opening the taptic engine to third-party developers with an API.

This story, "iPhone 7: No headphone jack but dramatically overhauled cameras" was originally published by Macworld.

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