The smartwatch. Manufacturers have been trying to deliver on the promise of a full-featured wrist gadget for years. The pitfalls are plentiful: Battery Life. Charging. Water Resistance. Rugged Display. Comfort. Fashion. Features and interface. Price. With the Apple Watch, Tim Cook and Jony Ive’s team have addressed almost all of these areas of concern with Apple’s traditional attention to detail.
Today Apple announced some long anticipated new products and upgrades at an event near their headquarters in Cupertino, California. Though we worried that Apple might leave us disappointed, quite a few of our predictions were spot on this year, and we were pleasantly surprised with many of Apple’s newest innovations.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
I couldn't have been more impressed with the Apple Watch. It got huge play today at the event, and I feel that despite all the details presented, that information only scratched the surface. Once again Apple has shown extraordinary vision and attention to detail. Just like the iPhone created a new world of possibilities so too does the Apple Watch. It's yet another multipurpose tool that has an amazing array of uses. You can access apps such as Maps and Music and Health, you can use it to make calls or send messages, you can use it as a watch, you can use it to make mobile payments, you can use it as a health and fitness device, and more. Plus, the WatchKit platform lets developers create apps and notifications.
Vainglory is an upcoming iOS MOBA game that was demoed at today's Apple event. It showed of just a smidgen of what iOS 8's new gaming interface Metal is capable of doing. It's interesting that Apple picked a MOBA to feature at today's event, considering how immensely popular (and profitable) as a professional eSport the genre has become. They clearly consider themselves legitimate contenders in the high stakes arena of professional gaming.
The Apple Watch was announced earlier today and it, along with the Health app, will change the way we are able to interact with our iPhones. The Apple Watch does double duty as an all day fitness tracker (Activity app) and a sports watch (Workout app). The wide variety of data it collects makes it easy for the Apple Watch to track different types of activity.
These are the key components of fitness portion of the Apple Watch:
As was rumored, today's event ended with a performance by the band U2. And to top it off, Apple announced that U2's new album Songs of Innocence is available in the iTunes Store for free.
What an event it has been, with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the spectacular Apple Watch. Also announced today was Apple Pay, Apple's new mobile payment system that will work with both the new iPhones and the new Apple Watch. The new devices have a near field communication (NFC) chip that works with mobile payment processing terminals at 200,000 merchant locations. To make a purchase you simply touch your device to the terminal, and then tap the Touch ID. That's it. Apple calls it "one-touch checkout."
More. We were promised more by Apple and by the blogosphere, and today, we got it. The iPhone 6, a larger version of the iPhone 5, was a given, thanks to the success that Samsung and others have received by filling in that gap. But in addition to that, Apple didn't stop with just "one more thing" but gave us a lot more. Let's recap some of those "gifts."
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been unveiled, let's take a quick look at some of the innovative and original new features this new iDevice will deliver.
While the new iDevices stole the show at today's Apple event, it's safe to say that what comes under the hood with these new smartphones and tablets is equally as impressive as their meticulously designed exteriors. Case in point; with the introduction of iOS 8, Apple's new programming interface, called Metal, is now available to experience in all of its grandeur. In particular, iOS gamers are in for a treat with all of the improved graphics and snappy responsiveness that Metal delivers. Game developers have had their hands on Metal for awhile now, which means that right out of the gate we can enjoy the unparalleled console-caliber capabilities that Metal allows.
When Apple sent out their invitation to today’s event, they said simply: “We wish we could say more,” and included an enlarged Apple logo in the background. Although the choice of the word “more” could have been a cryptical reference to Steve Jobs’ iconic “One more thing” catch phrase, I couldn’t help but suspect that it was more likely a reference to the rumored and highly requested larger iPhone 6. Perhaps it was also alluding to the fact that Apple was planning to unveil a wider range of products on this day than ever before. After years of speculation, months of clues, and weeks of pondering cryptic hints, the day so many of us have been patiently waiting for has arrived. World, meet the new iPhone 6 series. “More” has arrived…
As Apple wraps up the iPhone portion of today's media event, our final questions about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been answered, namely how much will the new iPhones cost and when can we get our hands on them.
Hear what our panel of experts have to say about Apple's announcement, during our live commentary from the iZone Stage at Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas. Our live stream starts at 12:30 p.m., Pacific Time, following the conclusion of Apple's 10 a.m. announcement at the Flint Center in Cupertino and will feature mobile tech experts:
If you can't wait until tomorrow to see the new iPhone 6, you don't need to. Videos of the 4.7-inch iPhone are appearing on Chinese websites. These are fully functional phones, though apparently without a SIM card. The video below shows the phone running iOS 8 applications, and gives demos of some of the apps. So much is now known about the device that its introduction Tuesday will be almost anticlimactic.
The key word in Apple's invitation to Tuesday's announcement was "more" and it appears Apple is making good on that, if the New York Times is to be believed. Instead of just one iPhone with more screen real estate (4.7 inches) we may indeed get two, with a 5.5-inch model expected as well. I've written that Apple could go with iPhone Air and iPhone Pro, but we will have to see what they announce.
According to 9To5Mac, market analyst Ming-Chi
Kuo has recently offered up a bunch of details about the
iWatch, though it's hard to tell where inside information ends and speculation begins. He says that although we won't see an
iWatch until 2015, Apple will be announcing it on Tuesday in order to encourage developers to create apps for it. And he believes it will come with
8 GB of storage and 512 MB RAM, as well as two different rectangular display sizes: 1.3 and 1.5 inches. He also suggests there will be a gold colored
iWatch to match the gold colored iPhone
5s and iPhone 6. Of course he expects it to have a range of health and fitness sensors. I'm certainly hoping Apple announces it Tuesday.
Apple may be announcing their biggest iPhone yet, next week, but Samsung is determined to steal their thunder today by introducing the Galaxy Note Edge. Apple may announce a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model on Tuesday, but Samsung hopes to trump them both with a 5.6-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display and a resolution of 2560x1440. What really sets the new Samsung apart is the screen overlaps the edge of the phone, thanks to flexible OLED technology, so you can see a small bit from the sides!
The resale value of earlier-generation iPhones remains high, with a wide variety of companies competing to give you the best price. A great article on MarketWatch gives a brief overview of the prices being offered. If you're willing to sell your phone in return for a gift card, Amazon may have the best deal, offering $394 for a 16GB iPhone 5s and $255 for an iPhone 5. If you want cash, Gazelle will give you up to $300 for your iPhone 5s, while both Gazelle and NextWorth offer $185 for your iPhone 5. Apple will give you a $255 gift card for an iPhone 5. WalMart also offers a pretty good deal: $275 for an iPhone 5s and $166 for an iPhone 5.
Apple's invitation for their September 9 event is brief but ends with the word "more." Obviously more can refer to the larger screen of the next iPhone, presumably 4.7-inch. But a 5.5-inch model has also been seen in the wild, and while it may not be as far along as the 4.7-inch model, iPhone lovers are hoping it will be announced next week along with its smaller brother.
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