Archive for September, 2014

Everything Apple announced at its September 2014 keynote

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

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And now we can tell you all about it:

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At its special media event today, Apple announced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is touting a “Retina HD Display” on both phones, as the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 features a 1334 x 750 display at 326 pixels-per-inch while the iPhone 6 Plus features a 1920 x 1080 display at 401 ppi. The iPhone 6 is said to have more than 1 million pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus is said to have 2 million pixels.

The new models feature a number of hardware changes, including a chassis that is 6.9 mm thin for the iPhone 6 and 7.1 mm for the iPhone 6 Plus. Both models feature the next-generation 64-bit A8 chip, which features 2 billion transistors on a 20nm processor. The A8 delivers 25% faster CPU performance and is 13% smaller and 50% more energy efficient when compared to the A7. The device also comes with a next-generation M8 motion coprocessor which can now estimate distance and elevation changes with a new barometer.Apple states that the iPhone 6 will get 50 hours of battery life for audio, 11 hours for video, 11 hours for WiFi browsing and 10 hours for LTE browsing. With its even bigger body, the iPhone 6 Plus will get 80 hours of battery life for audio, 14 hours for video, and 12 hours for Wi-Fi and LTE browsing. The iPhone 6 now also includes Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) technology, including 20 LTE band, as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which delivers 3x faster Wi-Fi and support for Wi-Fi calling.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also support a new camera system with a brand-new 8-megapixel sensor, along with a circular true tone flash. Apple is also touting “Focus Pixel” technology, which allows the lens to move in and out to better determine autofocus points. The camera also features next-gen tone mapping and noise reduction. Apple also says the camera is complimented by a new gyroscope and image stabilization built into the A8 processor. Exclusive to the iPhone 6 Plus is an optical image stabilization system.As for video capabilities, both devices shoot in 1080p at 30fps and 60fps, along with 240fps slo-mo video, which is up from 120fps on the iPhone 5s. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera has also received a new sensor with a f2.2 aperture that lets in 81% more light. Users can also shoot single-shot HDR photos and take HDR video.

Both devices will launch on September 19 in the first wave of countries, with pre-orders starting on September 12. The iPhone 6 will be available in 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB variants, and the iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the same storage capacities. Both iPhone 6 models also come in the same Space Gray, Gold, and Silver variants.

Famous last words:

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Apple today announced its long-rumored wearable device, the Apple Watch, which actually uses the Apple Symbol () followed by “Watch” in its name. Apple’s Watch is designed to be both fashionable and functional, available in an array of different color and materials with six different types of watch straps that are easily interchangeable. Prices for the device, which will be available in early 2015, start at $349.There are six different Watch face colors and materials: Stainless Steel, Silver Aluminum, 18-Karat Yellow Gold, Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Gray Aluminum, and 18-Karat Rose Gold.There’s the Apple Watch collection, which has stainless steel or space black stainless steel cases combined with a range of metal and leather bands, the Watch Sport collection, which includes anodized aluminum cases in silver or space gray with colorful, durable bands, and the Apple Watch Edition, which includes 18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose with “exquisitely crafted” bands and closures.

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All of Apple’s Watches can be customized with an array of different digital watch faces to suit different tastes. Each of the watches is available in two separate screen sizes for different sized wrists: 38mm and 42mm, and the watches have a flexible, durable sapphire display.Apple’s Watch uses unique input methods, taking advantage of the traditional watch dial or crown, which Apple refers to as a “digital crown” on the device. This scroll-type wheel allows users to zoom and scroll through various user interface elements.The device also takes advantage of new pressure-sensing technology and is able to determine the difference between a tap and a press, allowing for a new range of contextually specific controls. A second physical button next to the digital crown lets users tap to bring up a list of contacts and then communicate with friends by sending quick drawings, messages, and animated emoji. It’s also possible to send a heart beat, drawn from the watch’s sensors.Inside the device, there’s a new Taptic Engine that allows users to hear and feel the design of the user interface. According to Apple, users will be able to feel and respond to notifications “easily and intuitively” through the Taptic Engine.

A new custom designed chip, the S1 processor, integrates many subsystems into one singular module. The back of the watch is constructed from zirconia with four sapphire lenses that can detect pulse rate. There is also a gyroscope and accelerometer, which helps the Apple Watch provide a comprehensive picture of daily activity.

The back of the device is also the home of Apple’s charging solution, which uses a MagSafe with inductive charging. The user will not have to worry about exposed contacts or aligning the charger properly. Apple has declined to comment on battery life at this point.

Because it is a watch, the device is designed to keep accurate time, continually checking its internal clock against the definitive global time standard with the “precision found in GPS satellites.”

Apple’s Watch will support third-party apps, with support for both extended notifications from the iPhone and apps that run directly on the device. The Watch does rely heavily on the iPhone and does not function as a standalone device as it is designed to work with Apple’s new Continuity features, letting users shift tasks from one device to another with ease.

The Watch does include support for NFC, and it will function with Apple’s new payment initiative, Apple Pay, which lets users make secure payments from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, and Apple Watch.

Apple’s iWatch will be available starting at $349, with users able to purchase the device in early 2015.

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