Written by: Ashely Martin
APPLE made no bones about it today: This was an historic occasion. Gathering reporters, designers, fashion experts at the Finch Center — today’s 9.9.2014 Keynote Event carried with it an incredible anticipation. The Finch Center itself was the site where Steve Jobs himself took the stage and unveiled the very first Macintosh, along with the first iMac years later. Today, Apple wanted the world to know that they were about to make history again.
And, boy…did they ever.
Normally, these Apple keynotes begin with a kind of “state of the company” address, with statistics ranging from retail performance all the way to how many iPads have been sold. But not today. Tim Cook took the stage at 1:03PM, and within three minutes, we were on to the iPhone announcement! There was a lot to go over, and we are going to attempt to give you the important information you need to know — so buckle up, and let’s go!
Two new iPhone sizes were introduced today — the iPhone 6, with a 4.7” Retina HD (more on that shortly) display, and the iPhone 6 Plus, with a stunning (and huge!) 5.5” Retina HD display. Not only are they bigger, but they’re dramatically thinner as well. The iPhone 6 measures just 6.9mm thick, while the Plus measures 7.1mm thick. At first glance, the 0.2mm difference is practically indistinguishable. In fact, looking at these two phones stacked side-by-side, you can’t tell the difference.
They are amazingly thin, folks.
The glass of the enhanced display curves ever so slightly into the aluminum casing, bringing a seamless transition from screen to body that really looks impressive. It gives Apple a chance to once again highlight their design chops as compared to the competition.
An all-aluminum body and back completes the package, along with the antenna bands that we have come to expect from Apple phones. The power button has been moved from the top to the side for easier access on the larger phones. They really are a beautiful work of engineering.
RETINA HD DISPLAY
Apple bills the enhanced Retina HD Display as not just bigger, but better. It has better viewing angles, higher contrast, and a special technology called “dual-domain pixels,” which deliver decidedly more accurate color reproduction at all angles. The iPhone 6 has a 1334×750 resolution at 326ppi, while the Plus comes in at a full-HD 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. Each display even has an improved polarizer, which will increase picture quality in sunlight.
These displays also have a much improved white balance, and both will have the full sRGB color standard.
Along with bigger displays come new ways of viewing apps. The iPhone 6 Plus will seamlessly switch to landscape mode (much like the iPad), and offer even more functionality in apps that can take advantage of the added space.
Both iPhone 6 models come with the new 64-bit A8 processor, which is reportedly 25% faster and 50% more power-efficient than the A7 it replaces. It is built with a 20nm fab process that crams twice the transistors — 2 Billion! — on a microchip that is 13% smaller than the A7.
It also comes with the new M8 Motion Coprocessor, which further increases the A8’s efficiency. The phones themselves even come with a new sensor, the barometer, that can measure elevation based on ambient air pressure.
As you can imagine (and I’m sure many of you were hoping for!), all this power efficient technology brings with it amazing battery life. The iPhone 6 has up to 14 hours of talk time, and the Plus comes in at a full 24 hours! Here are some of the other battery specs for your viewing pleasure:
The new iPhone features a much-improved 8MP iSight Camera, with Apple-designed video encoding and an image signal processor that is built in to the new A8 chip. New picture and video features are included, such as Focus Pixels, improved face detection, continuous autofocus, and enhanced noise reduction technology. It can take 1080p video at either 30fps or 60fps, and is capable of 240fps slow-motion video — twice the frames per second as the iPhone 5s!
The front-facing camera has also been enhanced, bringing the new FaceTime HD Camera improved face detection, and the ability to capture 81% more light for improved regular and low-light pics. It even has a new Selfie Burst Mode for even clearer self pics.
Both new iPhones have greatly improved LTE Wireless radios, which enable the fastest LTE browsing yet on an iPhone. They will also carry the most LTE bands ever on a smartphone — up to 20 LTE bands — boosting performance no matter what carrier or country.
The devices boast 150Mbps LTE speeds, and VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) which brings with it wideband, super-quality HD voice calls. You will also have simultaneous LTE voice and data, so you can still access data in your favorite apps while talking.
The phones will also support the new 802.11ac wireless standard, which will give you 3x the wireless performance of 802.11n on the previous generation. The iPhone 6 will also let you initiate phone calls using your Wifi connection at home, and will seamlessly (without interruption) transition back to LTE without you even noticing.
The familiar Touch ID-enabled Home Button remains on both models, bringing the security you’ve grown to rely on to iPhone 6. With Touch ID, purchasing apps, music, TV shows, and all the content you love is incredibly easy and secure.
Integrated with the Touch ID is a new payment system called PAY. Apple Pay uses built-in NFC technology in iPhone 6 to make using your credit and debit cards at supporting retailers a snap. Just point your iPhone at the NFC Payment unit, use your Touch ID to authenticate the transaction, and boom — you’re done. It really does seem to be simple and easy to use.
You will set up your credit/debit cards in Passbook, which will now function as your sort-of digital wallet. You will also be able to use Apple Pay in supporting apps and websites. It’s very intriguing, and it will be available for use in October. I will be anxious to see if this innovation will finally bring mobile payments into the mainstream.
Finally, iOS 8 will be available for download on September 17th. This is the software that will bring that familiar Apple experience to the iPhone 6, and a lot of awesome technology that will integrate with OS X Yosemite when it is released in October. More on that to come.
The iPhone 6 (both models) will be available for pre-order on September 12th, and at retail stores on September 19th! Simpy Mac and MacAuthority are the best place to get your hands on the new iPhone, and we also partner with the best carrier with the best mobile experience — AT&T. Stop by any of our stores today to learn more about AT&T and how you can get the iPhone 6 for yourself!
Here’s where the history-maker comes in. The iPhone 6 was incredible enough to make this a great day for Apple, but in classic Steve Jobs fashion, Tim Cook set the stage for an amazing announcement using Job’s “One more thing…” catchphrase, and the audience went wild! It is the beginning of the wearables-era at Apple…
It’s hard to describe what happened next — a video played showing the new device and everyone at the Flint Center stood to their feet with thunderous applause. It was incredible to watch, and you could see the pride all over Tim Cook’s face. This was his moment — and Apple’s — to really shine in the post-Jobs world. And they did just that.
Apple’s goal with the WATCH was to design the most intimate and personal device they’ve ever created. It comes in two distinct sizes, three separate collections, with numerous band, color and build choices. There really is an Apple watch for everyone.
The collections include WATCH, WATCH SPORT and WATCH EDITION, each with their own unique design variations. The watch itself comes in either stainless steel, brushed aluminum, or 18-karat gold. The Watch and Watch Edition come with sapphire crystal displays (the hardest transparent material on earth, other than diamond!), and the Sport comes with Ion-X glass (to make it exceptionally resistant to scratches and shattering). All editions are water resistant.
Apple incorporated some amazing technology in a very small, wearable device. This was no small engineering feat! It comes with a digital crown that enables unique interaction with the touchscreen. It is a multi-functional rotational button that lets you zoom, scroll and select items on the screen without covering up the display with your fingers.
The Retina display is optimized with fonts and elements that are easy to read at an arms length, and in addition to being multitouch, the display is also able to sense pressure! In other words, it knows the difference between a tap and a press, and the watch will give you options based on the input it senses.
TIMEKEEPING AND NOTIFICATIONS
Apple designed the WATCH to be incredibly accurate as well, using precise technologies to keep the watch within 50 milliseconds of the global time standard. It will also change timezones automatically as you travel. There are over 2 million ways to customize the watch face as well, so there’s something for literally everyone!
The watch has a built in haptic feedback system that Apple calls the Taptic Engine, which gives you subtle and different feelings of feedback depending on what you’re doing with WATCH.
There are so many ways to interact with the watch itself, and just as many ways for apps to create unique experiences in a wearable device. Everything from the heart rate sensors on the bottom, GPS-connected apps, and an accelerometer bring unheard of functionality to a wristwatch.
Apple has also put tons of very small technology inside the watch itself. Their new S1 system is a fully-enclosed microcomputer, which is the engine that drives the experience.
Charging is also incredibly innovative — and easy. The Apple Watch combines MagSafe technology with inductive charging, making charging the watch almost effortless. Just bring the charging piece close to the back of the watch, and magnets snap it into place, no precise alignment necessary.
Apps such as Mail, Calendar, Messages, Maps… you name it, they work with Apple Watch. Along with those standards, Apple has included Phone capability and Siri integration. You can even dictate text messages with Apple Watch.
A new app called Digital Touch gives you a new fun and spontaneous way to interact with the people you care about. You can tap, sketch, and even walkie-talkie from wrist to wrist! It really is incredible.
There’s even an Activity App and a Workout App that can track your movements and calories based on your heart-rate. They suggest goals, track progress, and provide additional functionality with built-in GPS monitoring and altitude tracking.
If that weren’t enough — Apple Watch will also support Apple Pay with NFC!
The Apple Watch will be released in early 2015.
Whew! Incredible news from Apple today — two new iPhones with larger displays and incredible technology, and a new wearable device called Apple Watch that Apple believes will change the smart watch market forever.
Folks, there’s lots more information out there! Check out apple.com for even more details about both announcements, and visit any of our stores to chat with an Apple Specialist about availability and pre-ordering the new iPhone with AT&T.