2 Phones and a Watch

By September 10, 2014 Technology No Comments
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After months of speculation and rumour Apple have overnight launched the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

During the keynote Apple’s CEO Tim Cook  labelled the new iPhone “the biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone” and unveiled not just one, but two new models, the iPhone 6 and the even larger iPhone 6 Plus. True to speculation both phones boast a larger screen size with the iPhone 6 measuring 4.7 inches and the iPhone 6 Plus 5.5 inches – the latter serving as Apple’s first entry into the ‘phablet’ category. The new models satifsy consumer preferences for larger screen sizes and will now compete with rival Samsung’s Galaxy S5 model and new Galaxy Note.

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Here is a breakdown of all the new bells and whistles on the iPhone 6 models:

  • Curved edges and bigger screens that measure 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, up from just four inches on the iPhone 5S.
  • 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi for the Plus and 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi for the 6.
  • Allowance for bigger batteries: 11 hours of video watching on the iPhone 6 and 14 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus — up from 10 hours on the iPhone 5S.
  • The iPhone 6 will be 6.6mm thin and the 6 Plus 7.1mm. Much slimmer than the already svelte iPhone 5S at 7.6mm
  • The 6 Plus will be able to be used in landscape mode on the home screen. So it looks a little like a mini, mini iPad.
  • Both models feature Apple’s new A8 processor, which is 25% faster than the iPhone 5S – a whopping 84 times faster than the original iPhone.
  • 8-megapixel camera with a new sensor for taking better photos. The 6 Plus has Optical Image Stablisation which helps reduce blur from movement, while both have a new ‘Focus Pixel’ sensor that allows for clearer, faster autofocus. The new camera will also come with face detection for focusing on the faces of the people in your photos.
  • Apple’s new iOS 8 software, featuring a new HealthKit application that monitors users’ heart rates, sleep, weight and blood pressure among other health-related information.
  • A new payment process called Apple Pay. So the iPhones officially have NFC (near field communication).

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More than a timepiece

What many had expected to be released as the iWatch has now been officially launched as the Apple Watch. Many years in the making the SmartWatch is Apple’s first major new product since 2010 when it announced the iPad and the first piece of wearable tech Apple has ever created. Tim Cook says, “Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created. It’s a precise, customisable timepiece accurate to within 50 milliseconds. It lets you communicate directly from your wrist, monitors your health and fitness, and is designed to work seamlessly with the iPhone.” Will the watch live up to expectations? Whether or not this first release will hit expected targets, I see a huge amount of potential in the device over time, when more developers bring great apps to the table. Currently, using the watch with W Hotels you can unlock your hotel room by waving your hand near the lock and with BMW you can find where you parked your car. This has already blown other wearables out the water. With the Health and Fitness capabilities also included in the watch I think big things are still to come from this product.

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The important parts of the Apple Watch:

  • As well as being a slick timepiece the Apple Watch pairs with the new iPhones to display notifications. It features a magnetic charger, health and fitness apps and a crown that controls zoom and scrolling with a twist.
  • Available in three versions, including a sports model and an 18 carat gold model called the “Apple Watch Edition.” The Apple Watch also comes in two sizes, one slightly smaller than the other. There will be six different straps available, ranging from something glamorous to wear out to something a bit more suited for exercise.
  • The rear of the device has four lenses which detect pulse rate. The watch includes a gyroscope and accelerometer so that the watch can provide a daily picture of your level of activity and reward fitness goals.
  • You can dictate into the Watch or use editable emojis to reply to people. Siri is also included in the Apple Watch.
  • Notification from calls, text, emails etc will be through Taptic, which “is like someone tapping you on your wrist”
  • You can control music on other Apple devices around you, such as your Mac as well as the music stored on the Watch itself.
  • Apple Pay will work with Apple Watch.
  • Apple Maps will give you directions straight from your wrist. The watch will even vibrate to indicate when you need to turn left or right at a corner.

Having been an iPhone convert for many years now, my original choice in phones prior to the iPhone launch, was to find a model as small as possible, preferably one that would fit in my pocket. After many years of using the iPhone and now being used to the larger screen sizes, especially for games, I’m curious to see how I feel about the new model, most especially the iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve played with the Samsung Galaxy for testing purposes on our own projects and could happily get used to a phone that size. I do however feel that the 6Plus may be a size to big for me to use as a phone if my Galaxy Note is anything to go by. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on an Apple Watch to have a play – I’m really interested to see the apps that start launching for this device.