Apple held a special event this week at the Flint Center in Cupertino, a place where history has been made on numerous occasions. Tim Cook opened the event recalling some of Steve Jobs’ career defining moments, and the legacy of Apple. Afterwards, he immediately dove right into one of the big unveilings of the day: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Two screen sizes for the next generation of iPhone have been rumored for quite some time now, and the rumors were right on the money. The Cupertino-based company presented a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model, both being larger than the previous iteration of their smartphones. As always, the phones were also up-to-date with the newest technologies that Apple has to offer.
Philip Schiller, senior vice president of Apple, touted the iPhone’s amazing display, naming them ‘Retina HD Displays.’ He also noted that the iPhone 6 contained over a million pixels, and the iPhone 6 Plus contained over two million. The new phones also remain Apple’s thinnest phones to date, with the enormous iPhone 6 Plus measuring in at 7.1mm (as opposed to the iPhone 5s at 7.6mm). Both models feature a brand new barometer sensor, which integrates perfectly with Apple’s new Health app and Nike’s iPhone fitness app. And, of course, both phones will come with the latest software, iOS 8, which will be released September 17.
Another notable mention includes the improved iSight camera, featuring enhanced optical stabilization, improved slo-mo capture, a new feature called ‘Focus Pixels’, and much more. What we see from Apple is not only a redesigned phone, but also enhanced software that will make for a smooth user experience. The last piece of hardware mentioned was the rumored NFC chip, which transitioned into the next segment: Apple Pay.
Apple has finally entered the mobile payments arena, and the Apple Pay process is seamless. Just like other standard NFC payments, users will simply hold the top end of their phone next to the sensor and securely pay using their Touch ID. Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, continually called the process “easy, secure, and private.” Apple Pay confirms your identity with your personal bank, but never stores any credit card information. Instead, the company uses dynamic codes and transaction numbers for each purchase. It is also private because Apple never sees what you purchased, where you purchased it, or how much you spent.
The last part of the keynote focused on a brand new product category for Apple: wearables. Tim Cook stood triumphantly in front of the crowd as he introduced the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch is said to be Apple’s most personal device to date, and required a major breakthrough in software. The innovative interface pairs seamlessly with your iPhone, in fact – it requires an iPhone. Using what they call the “digital crown” on the watch, users can zoom in and out of apps and content. The watch is also customizable in a variety of ways, including interchangeable bands and three different editions. Apple Watch is set to release in early 2015, and more information can be found on the Apple site.
Though many will have a different opinion, I believe that Apple truly blew their competition out of the water with these announcements. Their competition always bashed on the company for not having bigger screens, and now they have one less thing to put into their attack ads. While other smartphone makers have promoted their “cutting-edge” technology, Apple has waited to implement the use of things such as NFC chips and wearable technology for one simple reason: to refine the user experience. I’ve had Android devices in the past, and the experience is nothing short of pathetic. There is no intuitive, or groundbreaking devices coming out of other companies. In short, Apple sets the trend for the market and the rest follow. Critics of the company and their devices may have a differing opinion, but the fact remains: Apple continually proves why they’re the best at what they do.
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