by Shane Roberts
The most anticipated iPhone announcement in history, and one of the most anticipated announcements in the history of Apple happened on Tuesday, when Apple announced the two new models of iPhone 6. There has been rumor and speculation for quite a long time about this new phone, and we got all the details Tuesday.
The first thing that everybody talks about is the new screen size. The iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s are all 4″ displays. The new iPhone 6 starts at 4.7″, which is a sizable step up.
With these larger displays, Apple had to up the resolution of the screens to make sure they are ‘Retina’ quality. With the 4.7″ model, the resolution of the screen is 1334-by-750. In other geek specs, the contrast radio increases to 1400:1 from 800:1, giving better color, and Apple has adding something called ‘Dual-domain pixels’ to give the phone wider viewing angles.
Want a good idea of how much bigger the 4.7″ model of the iPhone 6 is than the iPhone 5s’ 4″ display? Here is a picture of an iPhone 5s inside of a case made for the iPhone 6.
Apple did take into consideration one-handed use, which can be difficult with a bigger screen. So they’ve built into the phone a ‘Reachability’ mode. Essentially, if you’re using the phone with one hand and you can’t reach something on the other corner of the display, just tap the Home Button twice and the content on the screen will move down for an easier reach.
Enough about the display on the iPhone 6, let’s go under the hood a little bit. The iPhone 6 comes with a brand new Apple A8 processor, which is 25% faster than the A7 chip that comes in the iPhone 5s. The A8 also increases the graphics power on the phone, which leads for better looking games. The games that Apple demoed on the iPhone 6 are getting closer and closer to console level quality games. Of course, this faster chip also means the speed and responsiveness of the phone will improve. Multitasking, jumping from app-to-app, and general navigation will be faster.
The phone is also loaded with the M8 motion co-processor, which measures movement. This version of the co-processor is much better at measuring what movement you’re making, like if you’re on stairs or a bike. Apple has incorporated a barometer to help measure altitude, to really help with the accuracy of the data it captures. The M8 will also communicate with the Apple Watch (more on that later) to share fitness data.
The camera in the iPhone 6 did see some improvement, namely with some of the sensors. It remains an 8-megapixel camera, but Apple added something called Focus Pixels. The Focus Pixels provide more information to image sensor for a faster and cleaner autofocus. Video wise, the camera has improved as well. It can now shoot at full 1080p at 60 frames-per-second, and it can capture super slo-mo video at 240 frames-per-second. Other camera additions include time-lapse video, and continuous autofocus. Continuous autofocus is handy so now you don’t have to constantly tap the screen to focus the camera while you’re shooting a video.
The FaceTime HD camera has been improved the most, between the two cameras. They’ve included a bigger aperture (2.2) to allow for more light to make for a better picture. Apple also has improved the face detection with the FaceTime camera, and have added HDR video to get a better looking video call. Burst mode was introduced last year with the regular camera, Apple has added that to the FaceTime HD camera as well. So you can now hold down the button to take a picture, and it will take a burst of photos while you hold the button.
Apple has added some new wireless hardware into the iPhone 6. The LTE is more robust, and can allow up to 150MB/s download speed. The iPhone also comes with 802.11ac wireless capabilities, which is about three times faster than the wireless in iPhone 5s.
With the addition of these new wireless technologies in the iPhone 6, Apple has added some new calling capabilities as well. First, VoLTE (voice over LTE) is a new feature to iPhone 6. VoLTE is basically HD voice calling, but it is only in limited markets right now, depending on the cellular provider. Also, Apple has added the ability to do WiFi calling as well. Again, this is limited by provider at this time, but if you can use WiFi calling, as long as you have good WiFi, cell strength will no longer affect call quality. For these features, check with your provider for availability.
The big innovation Apple unveiled with iPhone 5s a year ago, was Touch ID. Touch ID is back in iPhone 6 and it’s better than ever. You use it like before to log into your phone and iTunes purchases, but they’ve added some more to Touch ID this go around. First, Touch ID is going to be opened up to 3rd party apps, such as banking apps that can utilize Touch ID to help you log on. The biggest addition to Touch ID is the ability to use a new Apple technology called Apple Pay, which I’ll dig more into in a dedicated write up. Combine Touch ID with Apple Wallet and NFC (near field communication) in the iPhone 6, and you can pay both on your phone easily with just your thumb, and in supporting retail stores.
iPhone 6 Plus
The second iPhone Apple announced was the iPhone 6 Plus. This version of the iPhone has a large 5.5″ display. The iPhone 6 Plus does have some additional differences other than the larger screen size. The bigger screen also comes with a higher resolution, 1920×1080, giving the 6 Plus an even higher pixel density. Camera wise the iPhone 6 Plus also has an optical image stabilizer, which uses the sensors within the phone to move and stabilize any photos/videos you are taking.
The iPhone 6 Plus also functions a little bit different, software wise, to take advantage of the larger screen.
In a lot of ways it actually functions like an iPad. When you rotate it, you’ll see more information on the screen, like in the Messages or Mail app. Or like you can see in the picture above, you can use the Home Screen horizontally.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both come out on September 19th, and we’ll be carrying them at your local Simply Mac store on AT&T!
See you the 19th!