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Grow Your Business Technology

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Top Business Features

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Top Business Features

Apple's iPhone is getting a bunch of new productivity-boosting features. The newly announced iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both boast a new water- and dust-resistant design, longer battery life and faster performance compared to last year's models. Plus, an improved front-facing camera will make for clearer videoconferencing on both devices. 

The phones go on sale Sept. 16, with preorders starting on Sept. 9. The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will cost $649 for the 32GB model, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus will cost $769 for the 32GB model. A new, glossy jet-black and new matte black color will be available alongside the standard silver, gold and rose gold versions.

While we wait to get our hands on the new phones, here's a rundown of the features that will help you do your job.

The iPhone 7's new water-resistant design is a standout feature for workers who can't afford to be without a functioning smartphone. Apple says both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rated to meet the IP67 standard, which means they'll survive a dunk in the pool or sink. Both phones are also dust-resistant.

Apple is actually playing catch-up on the durability front; Samsung has offered water- and dust-resistant flagship phones for a few years. Still, for those die-hard Apple smartphone fans out there, it's nice to know that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can survive an accidental spill or dunk.

Apple is known for being a bit stingy when it comes to storage space, providing a meager 16GB of storage on entry-level iPhones for years now. That's why we're thrilled to see Apple nixing the 16GB storage option with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus; both phones' base models will include 32GB of internal storage. 

That's a perk for business users, especially for people who use their personal phone as their work phone. You'll no longer be forced to choose between your music collection and your work files when you run out of storage space. And if you need even more space, you can shell out for the 128GB or 256GB models.

Apple claims its new phones will last longer on a charge than any previous iPhone: up to 12 hours of LTE web browsing on the iPhone 7, and 13 hours on the iPhone 7 Plus. That would translate to about an hour or two longer than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. 

We'll have to wait to see how the batteries hold up on our own battery test, but any improvement in the battery life would be a big deal; theiPhone 6s' anemic battery life made it a tough sell for some business users.

[Read more: iPhone 6s Review: Is It Good for Business?

Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus come with improved front and back cameras. But it's the beefed-up, 7-megapixel, front-facing camera that might be the most interesting for workers, as it will make for crisper, clearer videoconferencing. That's a bonus for anyone who uses their iPhone to meet remotely with customers or clients.

The new iPhones will be powered by iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. The software update has a bunch of productivity-boosting additions, including an improved version of virtual assistant app Siri, and new ways to link your iPhone with your MacBook.

[Read more: iOS 10: Top Business Features

On the app side of things, Apple is rolling out real-time collaboration for its entire iWork suite of apps, so you can collaboratively edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations with other members of your team in real time. 

You can expect even speedier performance from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, because both phones are powered by the new A10 Fusion chip. Apple says it's more than 120 times faster than the original iPhone processor. We'll have to wait to see how it holds up in our hands-on testing, but we expect some seriously snappy multitasking capabilities.

Depending on how you use your work phone, the removal of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus may or may not be a big deal. You can still connect your existing headphones to the new iPhones by plugging them into the Lighting charging port (with the help of an included adapter), or connect wirelessly with Bluetooth headphones. Both phones will ship with Apple's new Lightning-enabled EarPods. Or, you can opt for the new wireless Bluetooth earbuds, dubbed AirPods, for $169.

The other big design change this year is the removal of the physical Home button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iconic button no longer clicks down; instead, it's been replaced with a Force Touch button, though vibrations will give you some sense of tactile feedback when you tap it. That's thanks to what the company is calling a Taptic Engine. 

Brett Nuckles
Brett Nuckles

Brett Nuckles has been a working journalist since 2009. He got his start in local newspapers covering community news, local government, education and more before he joined the Business News Daily staff in 2013. He graduated from Ohio University, where he studied Journalism and English. Follow him on Twitter @BrettNuckles.