Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple Unveils Its Wearable Gadget Alongside iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus - Which Are BOTH Bigger And Thinner Than Current Model And Better Battery Life

  • Devices were unveiled at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, Cupertino
  • iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen
  • The smaller device is 6.9mm thick, while the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm thick
  • iPhone 6 has 14 hours battery time, and iPhone 6 Plus has 24 hours
  • The 8MP camera on the devices has true-tone flash, and the front-facing camera has been updated for selfies
  • 16GB iPhone 6 starts at $199 on a two-year contract, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB
  • iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB
  • Tech giant also unveiled its first wearable called Apple Watch
  • It is waterproof and has a rectangular face that resembles the iPod nano
  • There are three finishes - Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Sport
  • The watch will be available from early 2015 and prices start at $349
  • Phones and the watch will run Apple Pay - the firm's US payment system
  • UK prices and international Apple Pay availability have not been announced

After a wait of more than two years, Apple has finally taken its first foray into the world of wearables with the unveiling of the Apple Watch.

The rectangular wristwatch was unveiled alongside two new, larger iPhone handsets, and a new mobile payment system called Apple Pay.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen, curved edges and will be available in dark black and gold, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen and 185 per cent more pixels than the 5S.

The Apple Watch, which received a standing ovation at the event, has a rectangular bezel, rectangular sapphire crystal screen, and curved edges and is made of metal.

‘Apple Watch is the most personal device we've ever created.’ said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

‘It's also a comprehensive health and fitness device [and] is precise, synced to the internet, accurate to within 50 milliseconds.'

The watch has a completely new user interface, different from the iPhone, and the 'crown' on the Apple Watch is a dial called the 'digital crown.'

Users can turn the crown to zoom in and out on a map, or scroll through a list.

The crown can also be pressed to take the user back to the home screen.

'It can be worn all day, in any occasion,’ continued Mr Cook.

The watch works 'seamlessly' with the iPhone 5C, 5S as well as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it lets users dictate messages via a microphone on the device.

Its screen is a touchscreen, but it also senses force, and can tell the difference between 'a tap and a press.' For example, pressing down will recognise as a right click.

All the electronics are packed onto a tiny board, sealed up to protect against water.

The Apple Watch comes in three finishes - Apple Watch, which comes in silver, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition, which will be available in 18-karat gold.

The wearable will be available from early 2015 and prices start at $349.
Apple didn't specify what the battery life was like on the Apple Watch, but did say it would need to be charged each night.

The watch's straps are interchangeable, and they come in a range of colours and materials, including plastic and leather.

There are two sizes of the watch, dubbed male and female versions, with matching smaller straps and finishes.

Other features include Glances, which shows information users would like to see, similar to Google Now.

It is accessed by swiping the screen up from the bottom, and shows calendar invites, weather and traffic for example.

The watch also understands questions in messages, and offers pre-selected answers, and messages can be dictated to the iPhone through the watch.

Users can also talk to the watch and send a voice reply, or have it transcribed to them.

There is no keyboard on the watch, and messages can only be sent through dictation, or emoji.

On to apps, the Apple Watch has a photo app that shows favourite photos from the iPhone on the screen.

There's also a Maps app, and users can get turn-by-turn directions on the watch, with different vibrations depending on whether they should turn left or right.

Elsewhere, users can also send their heartbeat, via a sensor, and the receiver feels the vibration that matches their pulse.

Apple Pay is the firm’s new payment system compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch.

The mobile system works by holding phone up to a generic card reader and pressing a finger on the TouchID button.

The NFC chip is fitted across the top of the phone.

All details are encrypted and the system stores payment information securely.

It uses the Passbook app and cards that are already on file with iTunes can be saved to it.
Users can also take a picture of their own credit card and add it to the account. 

This is verified by the card’s bank before being accepted.

If an iPhone is lost, users can suspend all payments via the Find my iPhone service.

This won’t cancel the cards, either, because the card details themselves are not stored on that device.

'Apple doesn't know what you bought, where you bought it, and how much you bought it for,’ said Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services and reports Eddy Cue.

Starting in US with Amex, MasterCard, and Visa, Apple Pay will also work with banks, and covers 80 per cent of the US, claimed Mr Cue. Apple is said to be 'working hard' to bring it to more countries.

More than 22,000 retailers will work with Apple Pay including Macy's, bloomingdales, Wallgreens, Duane Reade, Subway and McDonalds. McDonalds is even adding Apple pay to its drive-thru.

Elsewhere, Groupon and Uber will work with Apple Pay.

Third party developers can also make apps for the watch.

Initially, generic notifications will just show up.

But developers can extend that notification with something called WatchKit which gives you notifications of your choice.

The devices were unveiled at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College in Cupertino, the same location where Steve Jobs introduced the original Mac 30 years ago.

It was a star-studded event, attended by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Stephen Fry, Dr Dre and Rupert Murdoch.

In terms of the new handsets, the iPhone 6 will start at $199 on a two-year contract for 16GB, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB.

While the iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB.

The iPhone 6 is 6.9mm and the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm thick, compared to 7.6mm on the 5S. Both devices have Retina HD displays.

The devices were unveiled by Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. Schiller said: ‘It is truly the most beautiful phone you’ve ever seen. 

These are a new generation Retina displays, we call them Retina HD. They’re bigger - a lot bigger.' =

Both devices also have a 'broader' angle of view, and there is a new feature being launched with this range of iPhones called 'reachability'.

Users will now be able to double-tap the home button and the whole display will slide down, making it easier to reach the top buttons.

Speaking of buttons, Apple has also moved the power button to the side of both devices, so it's easier to reach.

Inside the devices is the new Apple A8 64-bit chip. It has 2 billion transistors and is 13 per cent smaller than the A7.

The 8MP camera has true-tone flash and its camera iSight sensor will focus pixels, and it also has autofocus that's twice as fast as the last generation.

Both devices will also launch on Apple's next-generation software, iOS 8, which features a new messaging app that lets you quickly send voice notes.

This makes the processing unit 20 per cent faster, and 50 per cent faster graphics.

There is also a host of new sensors, including the M8 'motion coprocessor, which will be useful for fitness apps.

M8 can tell the difference between cycling and running, for example, and it can also calculate distance and elevation.

It does this with a barometer, which uses air pressure to measure relative elevation.