So after a torturous ‘livestream’ of Apple’s latest event over in San Francisco, here is a breakdown of the biggest announcements from the evening:
iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus
So all the leaks and rumours were pretty bang-on. Apple made the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus finally official. To start, the iPhone 6 has a 4.7″ ‘Retina HD’ display with a design that’s quite similar to the new iPads and also seems to take some cues from the likes of HTC’s One M8 and the Nokia Lumia line of phones. The screen resolution is 1334×750 which gives you 326 ppi and wider viewing angles but no mention of the rumoured sapphire glass protection.
The iPhone 6 Plus has a larger 5.5″ display but pretty much the same design as the iPhone 6. Both devices are thinner than any previous iPhone model which is quite the selling point. The power button has also been moved to the side making it easier to reach.
Inside both phones, is the new A8 chip which bumps speeds up across the board. The new iPhone 6 is said to offer 14 hours of talktime which is a 40 percent increase over the 5S. Web-browsing time and video playback haven’t increased as much though with only an hour added to both.
The camera in the iPhone 6 maintains the 8MP resolution found in the 5S (and the 4S and 5 if we go that far back) but Apple claim to use an all new sensor with even larger pixels. The iPhone 6 uses digital image stabilisation but the iPhone 6 Plus has the much more impressive optical image stabilisation built in. It also has improved autofocus with thanks to something call ‘Focus Pixels’ and panoramic pictures can be up to 43MP in size. The camera can also capture video at either 30 or 60 FPS and you can also capture slow-mo video at 120 or 240 FPS.
The front facing camera also got a boost and it’s now said to let in ’81 percent more light’
The also announced a new feature called Apple Pay which lets you enter your credit card details into the phone and using the NFC chip and fingerprint scanner in the phone, you can tap your phone to a paypoint in a variety of outlets to make purchases (much like Visa has been doing with their cards for a few years now) and you can also use this feature, again using the fingerprint scanner, to streamline online purchases on the phone.
Both phones will launch with iOS 8 which offers an number of improvements like improved integration of third party apps like different keyboards and Apple’s new HealthKit service.
The phones will come in 3 colours, Gold, Silver and Space Gray and you can get models up to 128GB in storage if needs be. There is no exact date of Irish availability just yet.
Something which was surprisingly kept under wraps, design-wise, was the newly announced Apple Watch. Not wanting to be out of the wearables race, Apple unveiled their take on the smartwatch and it’s got some impressive and some not so impressive features.
The big feature Apple was pushing for their smartwatch was the input mechanics for the device. Using a ‘digital crown’ or dial on the side of the watch, you can scroll, zoom and navigate the user interface without obstructing the display.
The watch actually comes in two sizes (no sign of a lefty model yet though) and you can choose between 6 straps and 3 finishes. There’s the basic Apple Watch with a steel casing, the Apple Sport with it’s brushed metal finish and the Apple Watch Edition which is made from some sort of gold composite!
The glass on the front of the watch is made from sapphire crystal, which is extremely scratch-resistant and the display itself is a flexible retina panel that has been laminated to the sapphire.
The watch has a built in gyroscope, accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, and a new thing called a Taptic Engine which reads various forms of touch input on the device meaning the device can tell the difference between a tap or a long hard press, offering up various ways to interact with the UI. Siri is also built into the device and dedicated maps and photo apps. There is also brand new Fitness and Workout Apps which track a wide range of biometric data to encourage you to ‘have a more active lifestyle’. The Apple Watch will also work with Apple Pay too. The watch will use inductive charging but there was no mention how long they expect the battery to last.
The price will start at $349 and will go on sale early next year.