Apple’s September Announcements

Introduction

I was hoping to post something on my blog yesterday about this but it took a lot longer to see everything announced, longer than it should have!

I like to watch Apple announcements live or if not available watch the stream that is usually available shortly after the live announcement. Apple seems to be making live streams of their events available and like the WWDC earlier this year, the September iPhone announcement was made available.

So with anticipation I waited until 6PM (BST) and waited and waited, I refreshed the browser and the event had already started. Worst was that I could hear a couple of oriental (Japanese?, Chinese? I couldn’t be sure) just in the background translating everything being said, they were audible enough to be annoying. So I refreshed the browser again and then it got worse as I got the holding page again – NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

So I picked up the iPad and that was no better, it would play some of the announcement and then play the annoying intro video then more of the announcement followed by the increasingly annoying intro video again and then that was it.

I tried a few more times on the iMac and the iPad but gave up.

So I waited a few hours and then went to the Apple Events page – it said that the video of the live stream would be available shortly, I tried again about every hour until this message went and the most recent video available here was the WWDC one. It was getting late so I went to bed.

I awoke at about 3am the next day and woke the sleeping iMac – still no video on the events page so I googled and found a direct link to the live stream – unfortunately the cat was out of the bag by now I knew what was coming so the video was not as revealing as it could have been.

So what was announced and what do I think?

iPhone 6
As was expected the annual update to the iPhone was announced – the iPhone 6. This year it has grown in size from 4″ to 4.7″ and has a much faster CPU and graphics processor courtesy of the A8 chip which has double the transistor count and is physically smaller too. The new phone has an improved camera, faster ac based WiFi, faster LTE connectivity and NFC for the Apple-pay feature. The M8 co-processer has been improved too and is also faster. To accommodate the larger size the power button has moved down to the right-hand side of the phone (nice🙂 ).

The change in dimensions has allowed Apple to make the device thinner and is now only 6.9mm thick, the former iPhone 5s is 7.6mm thick however the weight has increased slightly from 112g (for the iPhone 5s) to 129g.

The new larger screen is what Apple call “Retina HD” and has a resolution of 1334×750 pixels which is a density of 326ppi. The iPhone 5s has a resolution of 1136×640 at the same density of 326ppi.

Apple has also changed the model line-up, so we have a 16GB model (£539), 64GB (£619) and 128GB (£699). They are available in the same colours as the current iPhone 5s (Silver, Gold and Space Gray). The 64GB model replaces the 32GB and the 128GB is now the top-end model (usurping the prior 64GB model).

The iPhone 6 is available to buy on 19th September (in UK) and can be pre-ordered from 12th September – tomorrow.

iPhone6-and-iPhone6plus

iPhone 6 plus
The iPhone 6 Plus is the rumoured larger version of the iPhone. This has all of the same internal features of the iPhone 6 but with a much larger display, an optically stabilised camera lens and better battery life to boot.

The iPhone 6 plus has a 5.5″ screen and like the 6, this is also called Retina HD which is more apt as the resolution is 1920×1080 on this device, this is a pixel density of 401ppi.

Being a larger device means that it is slightly thicker than the iPhone 6 at 7.1mm (but still thinner than the iPhone 5s) and it weighs in at 172g

Like the iPhone 6 , the 6 Plus has 3 models and 3 colours too; the 16GB model is £619, the 64GB model is £699 and the 128GB iPhone 6 plus costs a staggering £789. They are available in the same colours as the current iPhone 5s (Silver, Gold and Space Grey).

These are also available to buy on 19th September (in UK) with pre-orders from 12th September.

Please note that these are the full retail prices for the phones and will be cheaper if purchased with a contract. They can be purchased from Apple’s retail stores as well as O2, Vodafone, EE, Hutch, GiffGaff, Virgin, TalkMobile and other authorised Apple resellers (the 3 network is notable by its absence).

Of the two models this is the one I prefer, I had a Lumia 920 a year ago and I miss the larger screen, but the extended battery life and optical stabilisation mixed with the large screen iOS8 enhancements make this the model that I want. Although my first though was to go for the 128GB model the 64GB model might be enough; I guess this comes down to availability and cost. Unfortunately my contact isn’t up for renewal until the beginning of next year although this will help with the availability side of things and I should be abel to get any colour I want too.

iPhone6-with-iOS8

iOS8 release date
iOS 8 will be released on the 17th September, I was hoping that it would be earlier (like this week) but its just under a week to wait.

This version of the iOS software will work with most of the Apple iOS devices out there:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini 2
  • iPod Touch 5G

Apple Pay
This is a secure built-in technology that utilises the iPhone6/iphone 6 plus’s NFC in conjunction with passbook to pay for items at certain US retail and online stores. This could be very interesting if it takes off but as it is an Apple only technology I don’t see this happening unless of course the stores in question can use the infrastructure for other NFC based payment systems too.

iPhone6-with-ApplePay

As is usual with this kind of service it is US only at the moment and Apple hope to roll this out to other parts of the world later. I remember this statement was made about iTunes Radio over a year ago and we are still to see this in the UK.😦

Apple Watch
This was another rumoured device incorrectly called the “iWatch”, I think that Apple Watch is a better name anyway. This is an accessory for users of iPhones (models: 5, 5s, 5c, 6 and 6+ only) and won’t be available until early next year. The price will be from $349; this equates to about £300 in the UK but we don’t know the precise cost at the moment as Apple has not revealed these yet.

AppleWatch

There are going to be three ranges (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition) and each range will have two sizes and a range of colours too. Finally there will be many different styles of straps in ranges of colours and materials. The total number of variations must be in the hundreds. Apple have developed a rather simple an innovative way of changing the straps so this can be changed if needed or desired. While the watch isn’t waterproof it is splash proof.

I look forward to seeing these as I would like to have one but I need to see what they are like to wear, although I would prefer the larger of the two sizes (simply easier to see and use) I might have to go for the smaller one as I have small girly wrists.

It has also been noted (it was the first question I had) that the battery life of the new watch has not been revealed, this usually isn’t good and compounded with Tim’s statement that it needs charging overnight tends to suggest that it will only last a day – we’ll have to wait and see.

U2 Free album on iTunes
The final surprise was that after playing one of their new songs from the new album, Apple has given the entire album away to anyone with an iTunes account. Although I saw this in the store this yesterday morning I was having trouble getting the tracks to download to my iTunes library. I eventually managed to do this.

I quite like a lot of the music that U2 produces so look forward to listening to the album.

So in 2 hours Apple did announce quite a lot and apart from the U2 album we’ll have to wait for most of this to be released (anything from a week to many months).