Today at the Apple Event in Cuppertino, CA, Apple announced what we all expected: The iPhone 6 is here.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
The most obvious difference on the new model is the screen size, compared below to the iPhone 5s:
Another size difference is how much thinner and rounded the new model is compared to the 5s:
Equipped with an A8 chip, the 6 and 6 Plus offer a screen with 1 million pixels, creating a retina HD display for higher contrasts and darker blacks. The A8 chip allows the new models to work faster and more efficient than ever before, offering 50% more energy efficiency. Just for comparison, the processor is now 50 times faster with graphics that are 84 times faster than the original iPhone.
With this higher proficiency and the new iOS 8, game developers can put more performance into their games on a screen that will play games in higher resolution than most next gen gaming consoles.
The layout of the home screen remains familiar, but can now be viewed in landscape mode for those who prefer that over the traditional portrait view. This also works with email, weather, and stocks to provide a more detailed and interactive view.
One of the biggest things iPhone users like is the camera. Apple is well aware of this and has included an 8 megapixel camera with True Tone Flash and Focus Pixels which is an auto-focus found only in DSLR cameras up to this point. The camera also comes with an Image Signal Processor, which helps create steady pictures in a shaky or low light situation. There’s also an upgrade in face detection, and Burst Mode can better identify blinks and smiles and recommend the best picture, perfect for group shots. Below is a photo taken with the new iPhone without any re-touch:
Apple has also upgraded their video camera ability. Previously, the 5s captured slow-motion footage at 120 frames per second. The 6 is able to capture twice as much, a whopping 240 fps for incredible slow-motion video. There’s also the ability for time-lapse and video stabilization.
With the new phone comes the new iOS 8, which will be made available for download to current customers on September 17th. The new iOS adds some upgrades to the message portion of the phone, allowing users to add voice, video, and locations to any message. The new predictive keyboard learns the user’s conversation style and predicts words accordingly. Apple has also added its own Health app which gives a detailed look at health and fitness data.
The 6 and 6 Plus will have Touch ID ability to unlock the phone as well as make purchases in iTunes instead of having to enter a username and password. This is huge for Apple’s next announcement: Apple Pay.
This is Apple’s aggressive attempt to get rid of physical wallets and credit cards and use the phone as an all-encompassing life-device. Apple’s arguments for use of the new system take into account how exposed we as a consumer can become if our card or identity is stolen.
While it may take some more encouraging for the majority of consumers to start using this newer technology, it’s definitely an advancement in quick-pay. Apple drove home the point that this system is more secure than keeping your cards in a wallet, and cashiers won’t be able to see your name, card number, or security code. For those worried about losing their phone, Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app continues to grow, and because of Touch ID, others can unlock your phone if lost or stolen. Apple Pay is going to start in the coming months, first with MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, and alongside the top bank issuers that handle 83% of credit card purchase volume.
The new iPhones will be available for pre-order on September 12th and in stores September 19th.
The next big announcement is one that’s been circulating for some time, and it’s finally happening: The Apple Watch.
With multiple faces and bands to mix and match, the Apple Watch offers a more sophisticated take on the new market. One of the major focal points is the crown, which acts as the home and navigation buttons:
With a flexible retina display, the watch also includes infra-red and LEDs and photosensors are able to detect your pulse rates for the Health app. The watch also comes with an Activity Monitor app and a Workout Monitor app to assist those who wish to track their daily steps or personal fitness. Oh yeah, you can use it for messaging, Siri, and phone calls too.
Apple Watch will be available early next year, starting at $349.
To help top off the event, Apple brought in U2 for a one-song performance and to announce that U2’s new album will be available (for free!) to iTunes users. This sets a new record for largest album release at the half billion mark, as every current iTunes user now has it available in their library.
Apple has set itself up nicely for the upcoming future, let’s see where the next few months in technology and competition take us.
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