Yesterday, millions of people live streamed the Apple event where they announced a ton of stuff. You could tell millions of people were watching the event via Apple’s website because the feed stayed acting shady for the first 30-45 minutes. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop Apple from dropping some gems that will have your bank account on some “So you gonna do me like this?” isht well into next year.
So let’s get right into what was all announced during the Apple Live September 9th Event.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
All of the rumors and parts leaks totally nailed Apple’s plans for a smartphone that in many folks minds, finally competes with the larger Android and Windows Phone devices on the market.
Most importantly, the iPhone 6 will be rocking a 4.7 inch screen that is considerably larger than the current 4 inch screen found previous iPhones. In my opinion, smartphone specs are trivial, but if you’re into that kind of iPhone comparison thing:
- 1334×750 Retina HD Display
- 64-bit A8 chip that’s 25% faster and 50% more power efficient than the previous A7 chip
- New M8 motion co-processor that includes a barometer to track elevation (climbing stairs)
- 8MP rear iSight Camera with image signal processor, faster auto-focus, face detection, and exposure control (I don’t know what any of that means outside of better pictures?)
- 1080p HD video recording at 60fps
- New front FaceTime HD camera that captures 81% more light
- 3 times faster LTE speeds and can support VoLTE (Voice over LTE)
- 802.11ac wireless network support (upgrade from 802.11n)
- NFC capabilities (mobile payments)
For the iPhone 6 plus, you get the same features, with the exception of a larger 5.5 inch display that has a 1920×1080 1080p HD Retina Display (more pixels). The camera on the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization for sharper images. Additionally, using the iPhone 6 Plus in landscape (sideways for the noobs) mode, you get extra goodies like a sidebar and extra contact information, depending on what app you’re using. Finally with a bigger phone, you will get a bigger battery which means longer talk/standby time on the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 is $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for the 64GB version, and $399 for 128GB version. The iPhone 6 Plus is $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB…all on contract of course. Notice how Apple has bumped up the storage capacity and is giving you a 64GB version for what you would normally pay to only get 32GB. That’s the sweet spot for me because I always get a 32GB version and have managed to come crazy close to running out of space.
My overall impressions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is…About time. I’ve been waiting on a larger iPhone and Apple gave me not only one, but two to choose from. They even moved the power button off the top and to the side to accommodate folks with smaller hands. Most likely, I will go with the smaller, sleeker iPhone 6 and get Mrs. Tech the iPhone 6 Plus, since she has fallen in love with her Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Don’t get it twisted, I do have some gripes.
1. The camera lens protrudes from both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. I’m assuming Apple wanted to make the device thinner than previous version, which they did, but couldn’t make the camera hardware thinner. I would have gladly kept the same thickness as the iPhone 5S, but threw in a bigger battery.
2. I wish the antenna breaks on the back were less obvious. The gray antenna breaks sort of blend in on the Silver and Space Gray version, but the white breaks stick out like a sore thumb on the Gold version.
But those little gripes are not going to stop me from picking up one. Online pre-orders start Friday, September 12th, and you can pick one up in the stores starting September 19th.
I’ve been waiting on this for years. I knew there would come a time when I could use my smartphone to make purchases. Other companies have tried, but there have been some fails to get consumers, credit card companies, banks, wireless carriers, smartphone manufacturers, merchants/retailers all on the same page. Of course it would take a company like Apple to do all the heavy lifting, and they did with the announcement of its Apple Pay system.
Using Apple Pay is pretty simple. Utilizing Apple Passbook, Touch ID, NFC technology…and some other encrypted security tech that’s above my pay grade, you can add your card already connected to your iTunes Account as the default card, or load additional cards into Passbook by taking a picture of the card. At the time of payment, select the card you want to use, hold your phone near a contactless reader-enabled POS (Point Of Sale) device while holding your finger over the Touch ID sensor, and BOOM, you have paid for your stuff. The number of partners that have already signed on to work with Apple Pay is staggering…over 220,000
Your card information is not known by Apple, and each card is given an unique ID that’s encrypted and stored only on your device. When you make a purchase, the unique ID and transaction-specific security code is used to make the purchase happen…So the merchant doesn’t even get your credit card information. To be honest, that’s safer than giving the waitress your credit card so she can go off and do…whatever at your favorite restaurant.
Tip: JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE a PASS CODE ON YOUR PHONE AND YOU HAVE A STRONG APPLE ID PASSWORD (all caps). To be even safer, you might want to look into 2-step verification for your Apple ID, and make sure ‘Find my iPhone’ is set up before considering using Apple Pay which should be ready around October.
Leave it to Apple to move the needle. Check out this video to see Apple Pay in action.
Apple’s “One More Thing” section of the event that was made popular by Steve Jobs was used by Tim Cook to announce Apple’s foray into wearable tech. Apple Watch isn’t like any other original product from Apple. It comes in two sizes, three styles (collections) with two colors per collection , with six different band styles and buckles, with even more band colors. When Apple launched new products in the past, your choices were limited…Not with Apple Watch.
Apple has a touch screen that can sense how hard you touch it, as well as use gestures you already use on other touch screen devices. Additionally, an engineered digital watch crown located on the side lets you twist and press to navigate the watch UI (user interface). Speaking of the UI, it’s unique, but easy to customize to your liking. All the apps are small circles that you can arrange to quickly get to what you use the most. Panning around the home screen will show you all the apps on your Apple Watch, or you can use the digital crown quickly zoom out and in to your home screen to quickly access different apps.
Apple Watch is integrated with your Phone and you can quickly reply to messages with quick responses, or use Siri to interact with contacts, apps, and other aspects of the service/device. Apple Watch is also integrated with Apple Pay, so you can make purchases by without going into your wallet or looking for you phone. If you have an older iPhone, you can combine it with Apple Watch to use Apple Pay as well.
If you’re familiar with fitness/activity trackers, Apple Watch got you. It uses Apple’s new HealthKit so you can track your activity, whether running, climbing, walking, or standing still. Record your history, and even reward you when you hit/surpass your goals.
I’ll be honest, I could go on and on about Apple Watch not because I think it’s dope but because there was SO MUCH INFORMATION. So I’ll just let you check out the video from the announcement so you can get the gist.
Apple Watch starts at $349 and will drop “early 2015” – Just in time for them tax returns to hit. Of course, ya boy will get one. I’m just not sure which collection, color, or band(s) I want. Guess I have some time (see what I did there) to figure it out.
There was a ton of information announced during the Apple Live Event, so I’m sure I missed something. So check out live stream replay, and be sure to drop a line in comments section to talk about your favorites.
Images courtesy of Apple