UPDATE: Why Apple’s 10th Anniversary iPhone is a game changer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Why Apple’s 10th Anniversary iPhone is a game changer

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Apple CEO Tim Cook. AP photo Apple CEO Tim Cook. AP photo

by ALYSSA NEWCOMB

The world is getting not one, not two, but three new iPhones.

The trio of devices, which come 10 years after the first iPhone was released, made their debuts during an event at Apple's brand new Cupertino, California campus on Tuesday — and stayed true to the leaks.

The new devices are (not surprisingly) called the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. The 10th anniversary phone, which Apple CEO Tim Cook presented separately, is named the iPhone X.

The newly designed phones have glass on the front and the back, and represent the tech giant's most durable iPhone yet. The 64GB iPhone 8 starts at $699, a 64GB 8 Plus starts at $799, and the X comes with a premium price tag of $999.

Many of the new features have already been seen on other smartphones, particularly offerings from Samsung and LG. But Apple will likely put its own spin on the user experience, Geoff Blaber, leader of mobile device software research at CCS Insight, told NBC News.

"What we see with Apple is they may not be first with these hardware features but it tends to be how they are integrated with software. That is what creates the special Apple value," Blaber said.

Related: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 Ready to Battle Apple, Google

Here are the flashiest new features to look for in the new phones, which are available for pre-order on September 15 and in stores September 22.

Brighter Screens

The iPhone X is ditching LCD displays in favor of OLED. But don't get too bogged down in the alphabet soup of characters — basically, this means the new iPhone will have a more power-efficient display since they're removing the backlight, which can be a battery drain. OLED displays are also thinner and produce more vibrant colors.

Apple is calling the edge to edge display the "super-retina display." Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said this is the first OLED screen that was good enough to be in an iPhone.

Wireless Charging

While plug-in adapters are still an option for charging, Apple is now also going wireless. Here's how it works: Just rest the iPhone on a supported inductive charging pad or mat. An electromagnetic field allows a current to flow between the mat and the phone, charging the device. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, which works with member tech companies to uphold the Qi wireless charging standard. This means wireless charging will work with existing Qi charging mats, which are already in some cars and popular places, including McDonald's.

Facial Recognition

Earlier this year, Apple scooped up Israeli facial recognition company RealFace. Now, the iPhone X can recognize your facial features, adding yet another way to unlock your phone.

"Every time you glance at your iPhone 10," the iPhone will detect your phase, setting off a high-tech process, including an AR image and pattern of 30,000 dots to create a mathematical model of your face. A neural engine can process this. It all happens in real time, Schiller said. It will also work with Apple Pay.

It's unclear how Apple could further use this facial recognition technology, which they call FaceID, and whether it may be opened up to developers who want to add an extra layer of security to in-app transactions.

Goodbye, Home Button

The super sleek iPhone X is ditching the home button in favor of fluid gesture controls. This makes it the first iPhone without the traditional home button, marking a new chapter in the phone's 10-year history. If you need to reach Siri, you can just say "Hey Siri" or press the larger side button.

Augmented Reality

Here's one update you won't have to pay for. While the new iPhones are certainly buzzworthy, Apple's upcoming iOS 11 update, which includes a slew of augmented reality apps, is stealing plenty of attention. Look for iOS 11 to come out later this month as a free software update for recent generation iOS devices.

The available apps could change the way you use your phone — whether it's placing virtual furniture in your living room to see how it looks before you buy it, to playing more Pokemon Go-style games that take virtual characters and place them in your real world. All you have to do is hold up your phone.

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