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Far Out Event: Here’s Everything That Apple Announced

The iPhone 14 series was announced this Wednesday, along with a new set of AirPods and two versions of the Apple Watch.

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For more Septembers than we can remember, we’ve waited excitedly for news of the latest iPhone release. 2022’s “Far Out” event at Apple’s Cupertino campus certainly didn’t disappoint, with four new smartphones, two watches and an updated set of headphones announced to a gathering of excited journalists.

The iPhone 14 Lineup

The first news from the event is what Apple didn’t announce. If you were still clinging to the hope that the company would release an updated iPhone mini, your dreams have been dashed. The model failed to sell in significant volumes and has officially been dumped from the lineup, though support for existing models will continue for years.

Instead, the iPhone lineup consists of four new models (if we discount the existing iPhone SE). There’s the entry-level iPhone 14, a new iPhone 14 with a bigger display, called the iPhone 14 Max, and two high-end models in the same form factors: The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Both Max Models feature 6.7-inch screens, whereas the standard sizes stick to a 6.1-inch display. Besides the chassis sizes, the Max models of both the entry-level and Pro phones are essentially the same as their smaller counterparts.

So what’s the difference between the Pro and regular models of the iPhone 14?

The base model sticks to the same format as last year’s device, even using the same a15 processor from the iPhone 13, albeit getting a slight bump in specs as it uses the chip from last year’s pro model.

Overall, it has to be said that there seems to be little reason for iPhone 13 owners to upgrade to the new model. There’s a slightly wider aperture to the camera, a slight boost to RAM, and that’s about it. Indeed, if you used the iPhone 13 and 14 side by side, you’d be very hard-pressed to work out which was which.

Of course, the iPhone 14 Max does bring a larger screen to the party and offers Apple fans the option to get a big display without shelling out for the Pro Max — though all told, the entry-level phones aren’t as exciting as we’d hoped.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are where Apple has invested most of its energy this year. Despite looking very similar to the outgoing models, there are a couple of awesome upgrades that are worth noting:

The big news is that the infamous notch that houses the front camera and Face ID sensor has been shrunk down to a pill-shaped lozenge. The new shape is called the “Dynamic Island”, and can change shape, expanding to incorporate different functions such as music control or navigation, or perform background tasks while using other apps.

There’s also always-on support for the display, a massive boost to the primary camera, which climbs from 12 to 48 megapixels, and better low-light performance as well as 8K video recording.

So what will the new models cost when they’re available to order? The iPhone 14 costs $799 and will be available on September 16th. The iPhone 14 Plus is $899 and will be available on October 7th. The iPhone 14 Pro is $999, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is $1,099 and will be on sale by September 14th.

New Apple Watches

Like the entry-level iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 8 only has incremental updates for this year, with a boost to its health sensors, motion detection and gyroscopes.

Aside from a range of new straps, the big news for Apple Watch fans is the announcement of the Ultra, an adventure-focused model aimed squarely at the likes of Garmin. The Apple Watch Ultra gets a huge 49mm titanium case, 36 hours of battery life (and up to 60 in extended power mode), and an action button to switch what you’re tracking with a quick press.

The Series 8 watches start at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular version, while the Ultra model will set enthusiasts back a whopping $799.

Second-Gen AirPods Pro

This year’s Apple launch event also sees the Cupertino company boost the specs of its AirPod Pro wireless headphones. Apple claims the new H2 chip inside the buds helps with noise cancellation and offers a jump in sound quality. Battery life is now improved at 6+ hours, and new touch controls allow volume changes with a finger swipe.

Overall, the event was both exciting and underwhelming. The Pro iPhone models offer genuine groundbreaking improvements, yet the rest of Apple’s lineup appears to be an exercise in recession proofing as we await an economic downturn.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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