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8 things the iPhone 7 can do that your old iPhone can’t

How does the newest iteration of the iPhone stack up against the older models?


Amrita Khalid


Posted on Sep 8, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 1:55 am CDT

Apple on Wednesday introduced its new iPhone 7 to a public that had pretty low expectations. 

The most buzzed about rumor surrounding the new iPhone was about a feature it wouldn’t contain; a headphone jack. While the new iPhone 7 isn’t quite as boring as some predicted, its changes indicate it’s a closer cousin to the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 than previous iterations were to each other. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch display screens, respectively, just like in previous years. There’s no huge visual overhaul with the iPhone 7, as was expected. (The iPhone 7 will come in silver, rose gold, gold, and two shades of black, including a new glossy Jet Black.) We’ve come to expect improvements like a better battery life, an upgraded processor, and a sharper display with each new iPhone release, all of which we’ll see in the new iPhone 7.

But there’s plenty of exciting, new technology in the iPhone 7.  It’s the first iPhone to include a dual-lens camera and is waterproof, both features that have been in the iPhone rumor mill for months. If you’re a filmmaker, a triathlete, or a gamer, Apple’s latest model is likely to make your life a little bit better. If you’re clumsy, even more so. 

Here’s a rundown of all the iPhone 7’s most notable new features. 

1) It doesn’t have a headphone jack 


With the new iPhone 7, Apple eliminates the old 3.5 m headphone jack and gives us a device that is solely reliant on the lightning cord or wireless headphones. You’ve read that right. Your old Apple earbuds are no good here. Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Phillip Schiller said the move is an effort to both save space and pave the way for a new wireless future. Translation? More proprietary Apple products to buy, including the $159 AirPods wireless headphones to debut in October. 

The iPhone 7 includes a new W1 chip that will work with AirPods and a new generation of W1-enabled Beats and (presumably) other brands of wireless headphones. 

To make cutting the cord (no pun intended) easier, the iPhone 7 includes a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. 

 2) It has stereo speakers 

Sick of cranking up the volume on your iPhone? The iPhone 7 comes with two new dynamic range speakers. One speaker sits at the bottom of the phone, the other speaker sits at the top. 

 Apple says the iPhone 7 is supposed to be twice as loud as older models. 

3) It has a more responsive home button


Force Touch is coming to your home button. Apple is dropping its mechanical home button in favor of a digital home button that is similar to the MacBook’s Trackpad. The iPhone 7’s home button is not only more responsive, but it’ll have the ability to respond to multiple commands and deliver unique alerts. As is par for the course, Apple will also lend the use of the iPhone 7’s force-sensitive home button to third-party applications. 

 4) It’s water resistant 

Perpetually clumsy people can rejoice. The new iPhone 7 is water resistant. The iPhone 7 is outfitted to IP67 standards, meaning that it’s completely dust-proof and can be submerged in water up to one meter deep. 

5) It has two cameras

The latest iPhone has an entirely new dual-lens camera. It’s technically two new 12-megapixel cameras; one that has a wide-angle lens and one that has a telephoto lens. This allows for a digital zoom of up to 10x and also includes a faster f1.8 lens for better low-light photography. 

The iPhone 7 also includes optical image stabilization, once a feature only available on the iPhone 6s Plus, as well as a new 7 megapixel “selfie” camera. 

Photographer Jason Nocito, who was commissioned by Apple, said the new camera allows photographers to “shoot fast without losing sharpness.”

“This is truly a supercomputer for photos,” said Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Phillip Schiller. 

6) It has a brighter display


The new phone has a Retina HD display and wide color gamut. The display is also 25 percent brighter. 

7) It has longer battery life 

The iPhone 7’s battery lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 6s, making it the longest battery life on an iPhone. The iPhone 7 can last up to 12 hours on LTE browsing; the iPhone 7 Plus can last for 13 hours. Wi-Fi browsing on the iPhone 7 should last for 14 hours and a total of 15 hours on the 7 Plus. 

8) Storage capacity equal to the most powerful iPad, a total  of 256 GB

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is available with 32 GB of storage at a minimum—a notable increase from the 16 GB base storage of earlier models. It also offers 128 GB and 256 GB storage options. 

Not only is 256 GB the most storage ever made available on the iPhone;  its equal to the maximum storage available on the most powerful iPad, the iPad Pro, and on par with many MacBooks. And at $849 for an iPhone 7 with 256 GB or $969 for an iPhone 7 with 256 GB, it’s just a slightly cheaper route than the iPad Pro. 

SEE ALSO: Super Mario is officially coming to iPhone

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2016, 5:00 am CDT