Today Apple held their annual keynote speech in California providing a variety of announcements backing up a lot of the pre-confirmation buzz that has been preceding their landmark events more and more each year.
The most unsurprising announcement came in the form of 2 new additions to the iPhone family. As speculation suggested two models were unveiled; the iPhone 6 and larger ‘phablet’ iPhone 6 plus. Both phones are bigger than previous additions of the iPhone having a 4.7 inch screen and a 5.5 inch screen respectively to rival larger phones produced by Samsung and Sony.
Apple were also pleased to discuss the improvements made to the technical side of the phone with an improved battery life, ion strengthened glass and a graphics chip which is 84 times faster than the original iPhone. Alongside these improvements, a newly improved 8MP camera with faster auto focus was was discussed along with a brand new wi-fi calling feature, allowing you to switch between your network and wi-fi while on the phone.
Apple also took the opportunity to announce their much speculated smart watch. The Apple Watch, as it has been officially called, was built from the ground up using a completely new Operating System from those found on other Apple products and is being labelled as ‘the next chapter in Apple’s story’.With a square face and a Digital Crown (the twistable dial on the side of standard watches) for navigation, the Apple Watch must be used in conjunction with an iPhone (5 upwards only), connecting to the Apps you already own through your Apple ID. The watch consists of a scratch reducing crystal sapphire display, customisable faces and straps to suit your own personality and of course comes with Siri.
Being connected to your iPhone means the Apple Watch allows you to respond to text messages using various emojis and preset responses as well as enabling instant picture sharing with other local Apple Watch users with ‘live interactivity’. As well as being a smart watch, the Apple Watch launches with a plethora of live style and fitness apps, tracking your daily activities and allowing you to set yourself goals with 4 lenses on the back that track your heart rate.
The watch has been confirmed to be compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as allowing use for the newly announced Apple Pay, a new NFC utilisation that will allow consumers to use their accessories as a credit card.Apple Pay will allow you to add your credit cards to the ‘passport app’ with Apple verifying with your card companies to make sure that you are the correct owner.
The feature will debut in the US, working alongside Mastercard, Visa, and AmEx with many more banks and card providers signed up with Apple Pay functionality gradually being implemented across the globe.Apple Pay will stop the mundane process of filling in hordes of empty boxes with your details, allowing you to make quick one time payments much faster than usual and will work in tandem with the finger print recognition feature on your iPhone.
The iPhone 6 will retail at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB while the iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB and will cost $299 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB. Both products will be released on September 19th 2014 with Apple’s new software iOS 8 launching on the 17th.
Apple Watch will launch early next year and will cost $349 with UK prices yet to be announced.
Apple Pay will launch on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.