Archive for September, 2012

iPhone 5: everything you need to know

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Apple announced the iPhone 5 at an event in San Francisco last night.

The iPhone 5 has a bigger screen than earlier versions. There’s a fifth row of icons on the home screen, while the display is the expected 4-inch version, but the iPhone 5 screen is not wider than the iPhone 4S, it’s just thinner. It has a 326ppi Retina display, but now with a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Apps will have to be resized for the new iPhone 5 – old apps will appear letterboxed. Apple has managed to make the screen thinner, as touch is now integrated into the screen layer itself.

In terms of size, iPhone 5 is 7.6mm (0.3 inches) thick and weighs 112g (4oz). It’s 20 per cent lighter and 18 per cent thinner, and is made of aluminum and glass. As you’ll see, it has very similar aesthetics to the iPhone 4 and 4S, albeit in a redesigned shell; the volume and mute buttons are the same, for example.

iPhone 5 has a two-tone back and comes in either “white and silver” or “black and slate”. In its usual understated style, Apple says “iPhone 5 combines an anodised aluminium body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a truly incredible fit and finish”.

The processor is a new Apple A6 chip, as expected. It has twice the CPU speed and twice the graphics power – the chip is smaller and is more battery-friendly and is based on the new-ish dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU design. It’s manufactured on a 32nm process, hence the smaller physical size. Performance is also frugal – Apple says it’s better on battery life than the iPhone 4S.

The camera is smaller, but still has an 8 megapixel sensor size. It’s almost exactly the same as that in the iPhone 4S in terms of spec.

Apple obviously wanted to make a big thing about the stuff it did to the camera to fit it inside the new chassis, but it isn’t a massive step forward although the A6 includes a better image processor.

For the record it’s a 3,264 x 2,448 BSi sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Apple is also bigging up its low-light performance.

It can also shoot panoramas to produce a 28MP image. It can also take pictures while shooting a video, like many other high end handsets.

The front camera is now 720p rather than VGA for FaceTime calling. There are three microphones including a new beam-forming, directional microphone for higher quality sound.

As expected, we’ve now got a 4G LTE iPhone, primarily for the US. However, it will work on EE’s new 4G UK network. The 802.11n Wi-Fi also works on 5GHz now as well as 2.4GHz.

The new 8-signal dock connector is called Lightning, though Apple says that between iCloud, AirPlay and wireless sync, you won’t really need it. You can plug it in either way, while it’s 80 per cent smaller than the old dock connector. An adaptor will be available for the old 30 pin type.

You can buy your iPhone 5 with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage. You also get Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The smaller SIM card will be up to 40 percent smaller than previous designs, (12.3 millimeters x 8.8 millimeters) and allows for phones to be even thinner than before.

The iPhone 5 release date is September 21. The iPhone 5 will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the US on that date, with other territories to follow.



iOS 6 release date confirmed as September 19

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

iOS 6, the latest generation of Apple’s mobile software for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, has finally been unveiled. Here are some of the highlights the new operating system will bring you:


  • iOS 6 introduces Passbook

Passbook is Apple’s new e-tickets app, enabling you to carry electronic tickets for anything from sports events to plane travel, or to have a digital loyalty card. The tickets update, too, so for example your airline ticket would send you a notification once your departure gate was announced or changed.

  • iOS 6 has an improved Phone app

The revised Phone app offers smart reminders, so for example you can reject a call with a message saying you’re busy, on your way or lost in a forest… You can also be reminded to call someone back when you leave your current location.

The new Do Not Disturb mode is particularly nifty: when new messages arrive, they do so silently and without the screen lighting up. If you wish, you can also tell your iPhone not to silence calls from a list of favourite callers, or to automatically silent repeat calls from the same person.

  • iOS 6 Mail has VIPs and pull to refresh

Pull to refresh is here! Yay! You can also create a list of VIPs whose messages will appear on your device’s lock screen and in a dedicated, separate mailbox. Sharing photos or videos from within Mail is finally here too, as are per-account signatures.

  • iOS 6 makes Siri more serious, and puts it in cars

Siri is able to understand a wider range of questions than before – the demo showed it understanding questions about sports scores, statistics and trivia, booking restaurants and finding out what’s worth seeing at the cinema – but as yet it’s unclear which, if any, of these features will make it to the UK. Local search is being rolled out worldwide, however, and there’s support for more languages.

Siri is also going mobile: the new Eyes Free feature will put a Siri button on the steering wheel of Jaguars, Land Rovers, BMW’s, Mercedes, Toyotas, Chryslers, Hondas, Audis and GM cars. The car manufacturers have promised to support the feature in the next 12 months.


  • iOS 6 doesn’t require password for free apps

  • iOS 6 has a new Maps app

  • iOS 6 brings Siri to the iPad

  • iOS 6 has Facetime over 3G

  • iOS 6 has a brand new Safari app