Apple had its fall product launch today, and the company had a lot to say. Here’s the most important stuff you need to know if you’re interested in getting one of Apple’s newest phones:
1. There are 2 new phones, and they look awesome
Apple introduced two new iPhones today, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. They look quite similar; they feature gorgeous curved glass that wraps around to seamlessly meet the stainless steel back of the case. They both feature a new processor that Apple claims is 50 times faster than the original iPhone and has graphics that are 84 times faster. The battery life for both models will match or beat the iPhone 5s.
So what’s different? Size. Apple has finally decided to tackle the large Android and Windows Phone handsets head-on. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch display and the 6 Plus is phablet-caliber 5.5 inches.
They also boast Apple’s new Retina HD display, which packs more pixels than many desktop computer screens – the smaller iPhone has a 1334×750 display, which is the same 326 ppi as the iPhone 5s. The larger Plus model, though, has 1920×1080 pixels, which adds up to a stunning 400 ppi.
Of course, they both run the new iOS 8 (which you’ll be able to download onto your existing iPhone on September 17) and includes some cool new features (like more landscape mode support, so you can turn your phone sideways when on the Home screen).
2. Apple Pay will let you leave your credit cards at home
A lot of people were expecting this: Apple has rolled out a feature it hopes will kill the traditional leather wallet. Instead of carrying your credit cards around with you, Apple Wallet lets you make charges using your iPhone. The phone stores data about your cards (for starters, Apple supports American Express, MasterCard and Visa, with more to come) in a virtualized way that lets you make secure and private charges using your fingerprint on the phone’s Touch ID.
Even if you lose your phone, your credit card info can’t be compromised because none of the details of your cards are stored on the device. And it’s theoretically safer than a real credit card because no one sees your name, credit card number, or 4-digit security number.
3. The new cameras look mighty impressive
I have to mention the new cameras in the iPhone. Both new phones get a new 8 megapixel camera with all sorts of new features and capabilities. It focuses faster and you theoretically get more accurate colors when using the flash, for starters. The HDR (high dynamic range) mode has been improved to take rich, color photos with a single shot, rather than combining multiple photos. The iPhone takes HDR video now as well.
Perhaps the coolest feature in the new iPhone cameras, though, is the improved video resolution. Both phones can shoot 1080p video at 30 or 60 frames per second, and there’s a super slow motion mode: you can capture video at 120 or 240 frames per second. And that’s not even touching on the burst mode for taking selfies or the optical image stabilization that’s exclusive to the iPhone 6 Plus.
4. The Apple Watch is real, and you’ll probably want one
We’ve been hearing rumors about an “Apple iWatch” literally for years. Well, it’s finally here, introduced at the press conference with a sly “one more thing” slide towards the end of the presentation. The Apple Watch, as it’s officially known, is what I was personally hoping it would be: a combination smartwatch (complete with apps and notifications from the phone) and fitness band that helps you monitor your activity level and stay fit thanks to an integrated heart rate monitor. Fitbit, Jawbone, Basis, Pebble – watch out, guys. All of you are now endangered.
The Apple Watch looks sleek and pretty, and it combines a sharp and colorful touch screen with controls on the side for seemingly user-friendly operation. The dial on the side of the watch (called a crown in wristwatch parlance) is a multipurpose controller that zooms, scrolls, and selects. The watch is a whole new product category and I would write 1,000 words on this thing without breaking a sweat. Suffice it to say that it has a fitness features, supports apps, receives notifications, has Glances (which are akin to the swipable information cards used by Google Now), and was designed to allow person-to-person communication.
There will be three models: A basic watch, a sport version that’s lighter and more durable, and the Apple Watch Edition, finished in 18k gold. If you like that sort of thing. It has interchangeable bands and inductive charging.
5. Here’s when you can buy this stuff
Ready to buy? Not so fast. The iPhones will be available on September 19, but you can preorder starting this Friday, September 12.
The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the 16GB version. $299 gets you a 64GB model, and – the big news – there’s finally a 128GB version (for $399).
The iPhone 6 Plus is exactly the same, except add $100 to each model, so the 16GB version costs $299.
Interested in the Apple Watch? You have longer to wait. Prices start at $399, and it won’t ship until spring.
By the way, if you get an iPhone 6, you’ll need a new case. Our sister site Society 6 is already primed and ready to offer iPhone 6 cases, so check them out. Also, fellow blogger Rick Broida has rounded up 6 of the most surprising things we learned about the new iPhone 6.
Photo credit: Apple