Probably the most anticipated Apple event of every year, the September iPhone announcement was indeed a huge success for the Cupertino-based tech giant with 3 new devices and a new kind of service, specially aimed for those die-hard Apple fans.
Held at the Flint Center in Cuperino, Californina, Apple certainly aimed to please as the inevitable announcement of the iPhone 5S successors was made, dubbed as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a new breakthrough in mobile wallet payments called as the Apple Pay, as well as much expected and hoped for, the company’s take on the smartwatch category, the Apple Watch.
A Generation of Bigger iPhones
Last year, the whole world witnessed Apple unveiling not one, but two iPhones in the form of the iPhone 5C and the flagship iPhone 5S, both donning a 4 inch screen size. Although the latter was worldwide hit, a lot of people were a little disappointed that Apple chose to stay with the same screen estate as the then three year old iPhone 4 in a world where other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and LG have a minimum of at least 4.7 – 5 inches of screen sizes on their flagship phones.
But Apple is finally moving forward with the newly announced iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus as these devices are now bigger. Donning screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are even thinner to up to 0.7 mm than the current iPhone 5S flagship.
Of course, there’s the expected internal improvements, as Apple announced that the new iPhone 6 tandem will come with a new chip, the new A8 built on a 64-bit desktop class architecture paired with an M8 motion sensor chip.
Photography wise, both iPhones come with a new camera sensor, which supports Focus Pixels, 1080p HD videos @ 60 fps max, 240 fps Slow motion videos, the ever popular Time Lapse, improved face detection, HDR videos, Timer mode and Selfie dedicated burst mode for the front facing camera. Not to mention the Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that comes exclusive for the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus comes with new WiFi antennas too, now a 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compared to its predecessor’s 802.11 a/b/g/n. There’s also WiFi Calling support and what Apple calls the VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Overall, the iPhone 6 tandem promises up to 3x faster Wi-Fi compared to the iPhone 5S.
A first for Apple, both phones come with NFC support, a requirement for the company’s new payment system, Apple Pay.
In the US and under a 2 year contract, price tags for the iPhone 6 will start at $199 and $299 for the bigger iPhone 6 Plus.
There’s no official date for the Philippines yet but expect Globe and Smart to do their own announcement any time soon, before the year ends.
A bite into Apple’s own Smartwatch
Apple certainly disappointed no one when they announced their very own take on the ever so popular smart watch, dubbed as the Apple Watch. And throughout the announcement, Tim Cook emphasized that the Apple Watch is a precise, customizable timepiece and an intimate way to connect and communicate.
True to form, the Apple Watch comes with a square, sapphire display and is available in 2 sizes—a 38 mm and 42 mm cases. There are also 3 different variants—the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition.
What’s special about the Apple Watch that it comes with what Apple calls a Digital Crown. It’s pretty much your typical crown, but it zooms in and out of apps, scrolls through your messages and also acts as the device’s home button when pressed.
Don’t get us wrong, as the Apple Watch comes with a touch display. But it’s not like your typical touch screen display like those found on any iPhone, as it is also force sensitive—sensitive enough to tell a tap from a press.
As expected, the Apple Watch notifies you when you receive a text, call, email or any social network notification, granted that it’s paired with your iPhone. On that same note, the Apple Watch works with the iPhone 5 and later.
What’s more special about it is that it can monitor your heart rate thanks to the Sapphire lens covered infrared and visible-light LED sensors.
Of course, Siri works well with the Apple Watch. Another feature the Apple Watch comes with is its innovative way of letting you communicate with others. You can send animated emojis straight from your Apple Watch to other Apple Watch wearers, as well as sketches with haptic feedbacks and, well, your very own heart beat.
The Apple Watch will cost around $350 and more when it finally gets released early 2015.
Read our dedicated Apple Watch article here.
Payments made easy with Apple Pay
Another thing announced during the Apple Event was the Apple Pay—Apple’s own take on the mobile wallets and NFC based payments.
According to Apple, this changes the way payments are made with its breakthrough technology in keeping transactions easier, more secured and more private than ever.
After setting up your credit cards with Apple Pay, all you need to do is to hold your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus near a participating store’s contactless reader, scan your finger print with your phone’s Touch ID and you are good to go.
A lot may be skeptic about using the service because of privacy and security reasons, but Apple announced that the service does not in any way store your card information, security code, the amount you purchased or even your name.
The service will be available starting this October in the US, and works with Visa, Mastercard and American Express and is compatible with the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch.
The largest Album release in the history of the Music Industry
Before Tim Cook concluded the event, the band U2 performed on stage. Looking back, U2 collaborated with Apple in releasing U2 Special Edition iPod models—a 2004 20 GB iPod and a 2006 30 GB iPod—both donning a black face and a distinct red scroll wheel.
After U2’s solid performance, together with the band’s front man Bono, Tim Cook announced that the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence, will be free for all iTunes accounts in 119 countries (including the Philippines) after a 5 second countdown. The album will become automatically available in users’ libraries throughout the day, and will remain exclusive to iTunes until Oct. 13—making it the largest Album release in the history of the Music Industry.
Now that’s just a great way to end an event as big as this–certainly in an Apple fashion.
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