Tag Archives: waterproof

iPhone 7 … it’s here: no headphone jack, waterproof, much better cameras

(Image from the Apple NZ iPhone 7 page.)
(Image from the Apple NZ iPhone 7 page.)

Apple announces water resistant iPhone 7 with pressure-sensing home button, dual cameras, jet black finish — The just-announced iPhone 7 series features a number of upgrades throughout, including a new jet black glossy finish option (shown above), a click-free pressure sensitive home button, and the best mobile cameras Apple has ever offered.
One model has a new glossy jet black finish, plus there is aluminium with a black logo, and gold, silver, and rose-gold finishes [‘pink’ doesn’t sound as good.] They all have subtle, integrated antennas.
The home button has been completely reengineered with a force sensitive design and new generation Taptic Engine. This features quick actions like moving widgets, messages, notifications, and ringtones and it can be programmed by third-party applications with the release of a new Taptic Engine API.
IiPhone 7 is water resistant, keeping out liquid and dust to prevent damage.

No headphone jack — As strongly rumoured, iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. It will ship with Lightning-connected EarPods in the box, as well as a Lightning-to-headphone adapter for those using preferred headphones/earbuds. Apple will sell separate AirPod Bluetooth headphones alongside the iPhone 7.

Camera — iPhone 7 has optical image stabilisation in all models with a larger f/1.8 aperture lens letting in 50% more light. There’s also a new six-element lens, and a high-speed 12-megapixel sensor that’s 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient.
The True Tone flash features four LEDS that put out 50% more light. It has a ‘flicker sensor’ that reads the flickering of artificial lighting to compensate for it in photos and videos.
The camera is powered by an Apple-designed image signal processor that detects faces and bodies, sets exposure, sets white balance, captures wide color, reduces noise, and much more.
The forward-facing [ie, Selfie] FaceTime HD camera has been upgraded too, to 7 megapixels (up from 5). It also includes new pixel technology like deep trench isolation, and can capture wide-colour-gamut images and has auto image stabilisation.
The bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus ups the ante with two 12-megapixel cameras. One has a wide-angle lens, the other is telephoto. This allows users to change the focal length of the lens, bringing optical zoom to the iPhone for the first time.
Combined with software zoom, images can be enhanced up to 10x, doubling that of the previous iPhone’s capabilities. Optical zoom maxes out at 2x. (As cribbed from Apple Insider.)

NZ prices availability (from the official Apple press release) —  iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold and the new black finish in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models starting at RRP NZ$1199 inc.GST for iPhone 7 and RRP NZ $1429 inc.GST for iPhone 7 Plus, and the new jet black finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models from Apple.com, Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers.
• Customers will be able to order iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus beginning Friday, 9 September, with availability beginning Friday, 16 September, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.
• The new Apple-designed wireless AirPods including charging case will be available for RRP NZ$269 inc.GST from Apple.com beginning in late October. All iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models will include EarPods with Lightning Connector and a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, also sold separately at Apple.com for RRP NZ$49 inc.GST and RRP NZ$15 inc.GST, respectively.
• Apple-designed accessories including leather and silicone cases in a range of colours will be available starting at RRP NZ$59 inc.GST and iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case will be offered in black and white for RRP NZ$169 inc.GST from Apple.com. Lightning Docks in several colour-matching metallic finishes will also be available for RRP NZ$95 inc.GST.
• Every customer who buys iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online3, to help them customise their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store® and more.

Review — LifeProof expands range with iPhone 6 cases and mounting options

The fully waterproof nüüd case by LifeProof
The fully waterproof nüüd case for iPhone 6 by LifeProof

LifeProof made the so-called ‘nüüd’ cases for iPhone 4 and 5 that let you listen to music in the pouring rain and even shoot video under water, if you got the video going before you jumped in (the touch screen doesn’t work to initiate filming while under water).
Now, along with adding a tough waterproof case that fits iPhone 6, a range of mounting options is also available.
But first, the case …

The LifeProof nüüd case comes with a screw-in cable that your earbuds then connect to. It screws in tight to the case to retain the waterproof seal. The case itself snaps together very solidly over the case – you clean your iPhone carefully first with the supplied microfibre cloth to you don’t trap and dust or grit between it and the case.
Although this is the perfect case, in many ways, for those in wet and/or dusty environments, it adds considerable bulk to the 6, virtually making it unpocketable. Also, sealing up your iPhone to this extent inevitably leads to compromises – buttons become harder to press, the screen is a less responsive and so on. Still, if the compromises are those you’re willing to accept for having a dust-proof and waterproof sealed-up iPhone that’s also demonstrably ‘biggened’, the LifeProof nüüd case certainly does the trick and it’s rugged, too – it reaches the military drop standard.
The nüüd for iPhone 6 comes in dark grey, mid grey, light grey or clear with different coloured highlights, and there’s an iPhone 6 Plus version too. NZD$129.95.

Nice, firm clip securely fastens the LifeProof to the handlebar.
Nice, firm clip securely fastens the LifeProof to the handlebar.

Mount up — Various companies have experimented with various mount methods – Logitech uses a strong magnet, for example, for its car mount combined with a metal insert in a case or that you can stick to a case.

LifeProof’s system is called Bike + Bar Mount with QuickMount. The Bar Mount clamps to bicycle, motorcycle and jet ski handlebar (assuming you also have the waterproof case!) with a strong clip, and a stick-on fitting goes on, preferably, to an iPhone case if not the iPhone itself attaches to this with a click. It’s held in a four-sided clamp which is also magnetic. It would pay not to forget to also lock this with the locking lever before you set off.

With your iPhone mounted, you can use it for navigation, for example, and here’s a good case (ha ha) for using it in that tough nüüd case.

The clamp adjusts to fit 20.3-32.5mm bar diameters and can also be clamped to the thicker parts of mic stands and other things.

Equipped with an adjustable ball joint, the smartphone handlebar mount lets you switch between portrait and landscape positions in seconds. A turning collar lets you securely lock the gimbal in the position you prefer. To release the iPhone, you turn it until it lifts off – this action can be locked, too, with a little lever so you can’t take it off by mistake. There is also a spare grip part for clamping to the bar and even a spacer segment for a really skinny bar.

What comes with the bike mount – in the blue package is the stick-on attachment plate for the back of your iPhone.
What comes with the bike mount – in the blue package is the stick-on attachment plate for the back of your iPhone.

Now, once upon a time, a couple of years back, I tried out a bike mount and note that I only cycle on roads. At the very first bump, which wasn’t even a bump I’d noticed before, my iPhone flew out of the bracket and skittered across the tarmac. I’m not game to try it again, so I apologise for that, but this system seems a lot more solid than my previous disaster. I suspect it would be fine for road use – for that commute into work – but I’m not sure I’d trust it on the trail, with lots of bouncing around, and I apologise for not being willing to put my still-fairly-new personal iPhone to that test. Also, I listen to podcasts when I’m cycling, much to some people’s concern, and so it’s better for me to have it in my back pocket with the earbud cord threaded under my shirt. That said, the 20 or so user reviews on the LifeProof site assert it’s pretty solid – and it certainly looks well made (below). Bike + Bar Mount with QuickMount: NZ$54.95.


Suction Mount with QuickMount — This is a very effective solution for drivers. The mount part is the same as on the bike mount, which in a car feels wholly secure with the added benefit it’s easy to mount the phone to it once it’s suctioned to your windscreen, and gives you lost of mounting angles and adjustments compared to that afore-mentioned magnetised Logitech car mount. It also lets you use the iPhone hands-free for calls etc.

Adjustments for up and down and for tilt ensure you can get the perfect angle in your car.
Adjustments for up and down and for tilt ensure you can get the perfect angle in your car.

On the phone end is the same magnetic/mechanical attachment, thanks to that plate you stick to your iPhone back or case. I like this snap-on, quick twist-and-remove action.
Suction Mount with QuickMount NZ$54.95

I like this; I'm going to use it a lot.
I like this; I’m going to use it a lot.

Mac NZ Buying Advice — I like the magnetic.mechanical attachment. It’s easy to put on and easy to take off. Both mounts are made from reassuringly solid-feeling parts.