Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The iPhone 6, Apple Watch And More

As usual, Apple’s Tuesday reveal was high on theatrics. Between CEO Tim Cook’s teasing “One more thing” (echoing the late Steve Jobs’ signature line—not once, but twice) and a U2 song release, the company announced several notable new gadgets.

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple announced its biggest iPhone 
yet, one with a display 5.5 inches across the diagonal. The phablet contains 185% more pixels than the previous iPhone 5S while measuring measures 7.1mm, or 0.5 mm thinner than the previous iPhone 5. Apple also claims the battery will survive 24 hours of 3G talk time (as if that's what smartphone users care most about). But the performance will be much faster, thanks to its new 64-bit A8 processor chip. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64, and $499 for the equally enormous new 128GB—all prices that require a two-year contract.

iPhone 6

Technically this is the "small" one, but with a 4.7 inch display, it’s actually larger than any of its predecessors—the iPhone 5S screen was just 4 inches. A 64-bit A8 chip provides 25 percent faster CPU performance and up to 50 percent faster graphics performance. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for a 16GB configuration, then goes up to $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB, all with 2-year contracts.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a new scheme that lets you make purchases in stores without taking out your credit card. Just add your credit card to the Apple Pay app on your iPhone, and tap it against an in-store terminal (at a participating merchant) to pay. Apple Pay relies on the security of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and a new hardware component it calls the "secure element" to ensure your credit card information stays where it belongs.

Apple Watch

It does more than tell the time. This wrist-mounted wearable receives iPhone notifications, tracks your fitness, talks to other Apple Watches and captures your heartbeat pattern, among other both seriously useful-sounding and gimmicky-sounding features. Outside developers will be able to build apps for it using the upcoming WatchKit SDK. When it is available early next year, the Apple Watch will retail at $350.

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