No, I wasn’t online and glued to my screen for yesterday’s events. Sometimes you just need to draw a line in the sand and let it go. But since curating nearly a dozen different posts to cover the event is way too much for me, I’ve done the reading myself and have conclude that iMore has done an excellent job with their “10 Things You Need To Know” article. I think “Executive” is fitting considering how much this stuff costs.
And so here are those things:
- The event kicked off with a bang by announcing the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is 6.9 mm thin, compared to the 7.6 mm profile of the iPhone 5s. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have thinner backlights, photo-aligned IPS LCDs, ion-strengthened glass, and improved polarizers for outdoor visibility. NFC is built into the top of the phone. The 16 GB iPhone 6 will be $199 on contract, $299 for the 64 GB iPhone 6, and $399 for the 128 GB model. Off-contract pricing will be $649 for 16 GB, $749 for 64 GB, and $849 for 128 GB.
- At the same time, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was announced. It has a slim 7.1 mm profile, compared to 7.6 mm for the iPhone 5s. It boasts a full 1080p mercury-free 1920 x 1080 screen (that’s 185% more pixels than the 5s, by the way). NFC is built into the top of the phone. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 on contract for the 16 GB model and is shipping on September 19 with pre-orders starting this Friday. The iPhone 6 Plus will cost $399 on contract for the 16 GB model, and $499 on contract for the 64 GB model. Off-contract pricing will be $749 for 16 GB, $849 for 64 GB, and $949 for 128 GB. Ouch.
- The Apple Watch is here. Yay! It monitors your health with a built-in heart rate monitor and smart, practical software, and offers a wide range of bands, apps, and faces. Three types will be available: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. 38 mm and 42 mm sizes will be available. Color options will include space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold. Band options include elastomer, stainless steel mesh, quilted leather; the leather with a solid metal clasp in Modern or Classic styles, and a stainless steel link bracelet. A hardware dial called the Digital Crown helps navigate with precision, though touch input is also used to get around. The Apple Watch charges wirelessly through a custom MagSafe charger.
- The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will both be shipping with iOS 8, which will be rolling out to devices all the way back to the iPhone 4s on September 17. The update will include new features for Messages and Photos Features, the improved QuickType Keyboard, Extensibility for apps to interact with one another, iCloud Drive, and a new Health App.
- At long last, the iPhone and the new Apple Watch is getting near-field communications, enabling all sorts of secure mobile payments. Apple Pay is a one-touch checkout that doesn’t require any pin numbers. Just use TouchID to pay with the integrated fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay ties in with Passbook to keep track of your various credit cards, which can be added simply by taking a photo of them.
- Apple is using a new A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s built using a 20 nanometer process, and has 2 billion transistors in it. Overall, the footprint is about 13% smaller than the A7 chip, while increasing the CPU speed by 20% and graphics processing by 50%. The A8 will leverage Apple’s new graphics rendering engine, Metal, and there are already a ton of game developers supporting it.
- The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will now take advantage of 20 LTE bands, speeds up to 150 Mbps, and voice over LTE thanks to carrier partnerships with Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Wi-Fi calling is being supported with specific carriers (T-Mobile U.S. was mentioned), and Wi-Fi ac for really high-speed data transfers while at home.
- The newest iPhones sport 8 megapixel cameras with f/2.2 aperture lenses and a new image stabilization mechanism. Autofocus is now about twice as fast, and face detection is vastly improved. The iPhone 6 has digital image stabilization, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a proper optical image stabilization which moves the lens itself as needed. You’ll now be able to shoot slo-mo 1080p video at 120 frames per second or 240 frames per second. Cinematic video stabilization offers hyperlapse-style videos. A new system called Focus Pixels will enable smooth continuous autofocus while shooting video. The front-facing camera also enables burst shot and HDR for the ultimate in selfies.
- The iPhone 6 will afford 50 hours of audio playback, 11 hours video, 11 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours browsing on LTE or 3G, 14 hours 3G talk time, and 10 days standby. Meanwhile the iPhone 6 Plus will offer 80 hours of audio playback, 14 hours of video, 12 hours of Wi-Fi, LTE, or 3G browsing, 24 hours of 3G, and 16 days of standby.
- With the bigger screen, users will be able to enjoy iPad-style user interfaces throughout iOS 8. Namely, that means second panes while viewing content in landscape orientation, but you’ll also get some new keyboard buttons for cut, copy, and paste. Speaking of which, now the home screen will rotate appropriately when holding your iPhone 6 Plus in landscape. In portrait, a new gesture, a double-touch on the home button, will scoot down the whole UI so you can tap elements at the upper part of the screen without having to reach. Swiping from the edges will now now move forward and back in Safari, and let you flip through Mail and Messages. Apps will scale automatically and seamlessly to fit the new screen resolutions