Yesterday was the day the tech world had been waiting for with eager anticipation. Even those who aren’t Apple fans were a bit curious about which of the many rumors were true. Apple revealed what they have in store for us in the coming months. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Three new things were announced by Apple yesterday:
- iPhone 6
- Apple Watch
- Apple Pay
All three work together to help make your daily life easier. If you’re looking for updated Apple tech, then yesterday’s announcements were certainly good news for you. Apple also gave a gift to all iTunes customers with a bonus announcement at the end of the presentation.
The new iPhone comes in two varieties:
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7″ screen while the 6 Plus has a 5.5″ screen, earning it the “phablet” moniker. The differences between the two models go beyond screen size however. You can compare iPhone models side-by-side at the Apple Store online.
Here’s a video from Apple showing you the design and relative sizes of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus:
The phones, while larger in screen size, are thinner in depth. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are a mere 0.27 inch (6.9 mm) and 0.28 inch (7.1 mm), respectively, which make them thinner than the iPhone 5s at 0.30 inch (7.6 mm). Both phones are available with up to 128 GB of storage.
The screens are improved with both phones having Retina HD displays and a copious quantity of pixels per inch: 401 ppi for the 6 Plus and 326 ppi for the 6.
Under the hood both phones have an advanced A8 processor, which is smaller and faster than the iPhone 5s A7 processor. The phones also come with an M8 processor that registers the motion of the phone. The M8 can detect both distance and elevation, making the 6 and 6 Plus more effective as activity trackers.
The phones will be faster too, with advanced Wi-Fi and LTE antennas. They will be able to transmit calls over Wi-Fi and seamlessly transfer between Wi-Fi and your cellular signal without calls being dropped, according to Apple. T-Mobile will be the first carrier in the US to offer this feature, beginning in 2015.
Apple used the new game app VainGlory to demonstrate both the advanced display and processing capabilities of the new phones:
Note: this is the first game from the developer, Super Evil Megacorp, which they described as similar to Capture the Flag but with crystals.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus get updated cameras with faster focus capabilities and improved face detection. Panorama photos can be much larger (up to 43 mb) and you will be able to take time-lapse photos. Improved slow motion video capabilities will be available on both phones.
If you’re looking for a reason to splurge on the 6 Plus beyond its larger screen size, note that only the 6 Plus has an added feature of Optical Stabilization for videos.
The iPhone 6 Plus has significantly better battery life than the iPhone 6 but both have as much juice, if not more, than the iPhone 5s.
The 6 Plus has up to 24 hours of talk time with up to 16 days of standby time. The 6 Plus has up to 14 hours of talk time while the iPhone 6 has up to 10 days of standby time.
Pricing and Availability
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are available in silver, gold and space gray with three sizes of storage. Prices in the US:
iPhone 6 with a 2-year contract:
- 16 GB $199
- 64 GB $299
- 128 GB $399
iPhone 6 without a contract:
- 16 GB $649
- 64 GB $749
- 128 GB $849
iPhone 6 Plus with a 2-year contract:
- 16 GB $299
- 64 GB $399
- 128 GB $499
iPhone 6 Plus without a contract:
- 16 GB $749
- 64 GB $849
- 128 GB $949
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ships with iOS 8, which will launch on September 17 for current iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
Pre-orders begin on Friday, September 12 with delivery on September 19 in US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.
Apple is entering the smartwatch market with the announcement of its Apple Watch, which was received with a standing ovation by the audience at the event. The Apple Watch comes in two sizes and three styles, with interchangeable bands, giving you plenty of smartwatch choices. The biggest surprise of the day might very well have been that the company chose the name Apple Watch instead of the widely rumored moniker iWatch.
Here’s a video from Apple introducing the Watch:
The device is available in two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm in height, for each model:
- Apple Watch, made of polished or space black stainless steel
- Apple Watch Sport, made of space gray or silver anodized aluminum
- Apple Watch Edition, made of 18k rose or yellow gold
The lens of the watch is made from sapphire glass for strength and durability, according to Apple.
You can choose from form and functionality with 11 watch faces available, many of them customizable. You can add weather, calendar, stock quotes, maps, music and more. Or you can just see the time.
Apple demonstrated the Astronomy watch face which shows you Earth, complete with a dot showing your location on the planet. You can swipe to see the moon, then swipe to see the upcoming phases of the moon, then swipe out to see the solar system, then swipe out again to identify the planets.
Many apps are already available for the Watch, with many more expected by the time of launch. Apple is making a software development kit available now so you can expect the watch to arrive with an app store filled with plenty of options.
The Watch can sync with your iPhone so you can start a task on the Watch and finish it on your phone. You can use the Watch as a remote for your Apple TV, your iTunes music and iTunes Radio. The Watch screen can be used as a view finder for your iPhone camera and you will even be able to check in to your American Airlines flight with your Watch.
You can throw away your GPS device when you get your Apple Watch. The display can show maps and navigate you in real time, using vibrations to alert you when it’s time to turn. The Watch uses different vibrations for right and left turns so you don’t even have to look at your Watch to know where to go.
Calling Dick Tracy! The Watch will even work as a walkie-talkie.
You’ll be able to see and respond to messages from your Watch. You can read your text messages and tap Reply. Using Smart Reply, the Watch will offer you choices to respond based on the words in the message. For example, if your spouse asks you if you want to go to McDonald’s or Panera for lunch, the Watch will offer you the two choices as a reply.
Alternatively, you can reply by tapping the microphone icon and speaking your response. You then have the choice of sending the audio file or having your message transcribed into text.
The Apple Watch has sensors in the back that record your heartbeat. That information can be entered into health and fitness apps to track your pulse rate or sent to a loved one to profess your feelings.
You can use the Watch to track your activity, set daily goals and remind you to move. The Watch can detect when you’re standing or sitting and alert you to move at least once an hour. Using the Activity app, you can track your movements and activity throughout the day.
Syncing with the iPhone
The Watch works with the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 and 6 Plus. Most of the functionality depends on the connection between the iPhone and the Watch so if you don’t have one of these models of iPhone, well then you shouldn’t be getting the Apple Watch.
Charging the Watch
The Watch is charged with a magnetic cord that attaches to the back of the Watch.
The Apple Watch can also tell you the time. Surprising, yes. Advanced technologies make the Watch accurate to within 50 milliseconds of “the definitive global time standard,” according to Apple. The Watch can also detect the local time and adjust automatically.
What We Don’t Know about the Apple Watch
Apple didn’t reveal the battery life for the Watch, how water-resistant it will be, or whether it will be adaptable for left- and right-handed people. But Apple did assure us that it would be worth the wait.
The Apple Watch will be available beginning in Early 2015, with prices starting at $349. Count on the 18k gold Edition Watch costing a wee bit more than that.
You may someday tell your grandchildren about the days we actually had to pull out a wallet to pay for an item. The company introduced Apple Pay yesterday, a new service that uses NFC technology in the iPhone 6/6 Plus and the Watch to let you pay using your credit card.
You connect a credit card or debit card from a participating bank by authorizing the card you use on your iTunes account. You can add additional card by taking a picture of the card or typing in the number.
Apple doesn’t record your credit/debit card number(s) or keep track of what you paid, where you shopped or how much you spent. Instead, your device is assigned an encrypted account number by Apple. Every Apple Pay transaction generates a unique number that authorizes the payment.
At over 220,000 participating retailers, including stores such as McDonald’s, Disney and Macy’s, you hold your thumb over the Touch ID Home button on your iPhone 6/6 Plus and tap your phone to a terminal at checkout. Bam! You’ve just paid for your item.
Apple Pay also works with the Apple Watch, though it’s not yet clear if you also need to have the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to use Apple Pay with the Watch.
You’ll be able to use Apple Pay with certain apps. To pay, just tap an Apple Pay button and your credit card will be charged and the item will be shipped to the address you have on file.
Apple Pay becomes available in the US in October for iPhone 6/6 Plus and in 2015 for the Watch, with other countries to follow.
At the end of the presentation, Apple introduced U2 who performed a single from their new album, “Songs of Innocence.” As a gift to iTunes customers, Apple is giving away the U2 album for free.
Are you excited about Apple’s announcements? Are you planning to get an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Are you craving an Apple Watch? Are you looking forward to Apple Pay? Are there any announcements you were hoping for but didn’t happen yesterday? Let us know in the Comments section below!