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The Most Timely Apple Event To Date

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Apple to release iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch

“You are the difference between the world as it was and the better place it will become.”

This was the advertisement with which a recent Apple Special Event opened in Cupertino, California on September 9. The products unveiled hold true to the same initiative:

“Today we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone,” announced Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, as he took the stage. The audience reacted dutifully, and maintained the same vigor throughout the two-hour event.

Cook spoke briefly to build on the hype around iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, then Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, took the stage to explain the cutting edge objects in more detail. iPhone 6 Plus stands nearly an inch taller than iPhone 6 but thinner. The interface of both iPhones emphasizes accessibility. One-hand screen reachability is easier than ever, and a horizontal home page and copy/paste keys for sending emails have been added.

iPhone 6 Plus in gold and iPhone 6 in silver. Image courtesy of apple.com

iPhone 6 Plus in gold and iPhone 6 in silver. Image courtesy of apple.com

Other key features of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus include, respectively

  • 38% and 185% more pixels
  • 25% faster CPU and 50% faster GPU (graphics processing unit)
  • the ability to measure the distance you’ve traveled, as well as the number of steps you’ve taken and changes in elevation
  • more than 20 LTE bands
  • cameras with better lenses and a new sensor that makes for better face detection and focus
  • video cameras with higher frame rate capability, as well as slow motion capabilities and a FaceTime camera with better image quality

A new operating system, iOS 8, will also be included on the iPhones, with an interface that includes new messaging features and updated apps. iOS 8 will be accessible on older iPhones, too.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be released on Sept. 19. The outside of the phones prove as sleek as the interface, with silver, gold and “space gray” as colors.

Apple Pay was revealed next at the event, making purchasing objects no longer require a physical credit card. The application keeps track of all of your credit cards while still maintaining a level of privacy. “We are not in the business of collecting your data,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. Most notable banks and credit card companies are on board, as well as companies that are making special adjustments in payment services to accommodate Apple Pay.

“McDonald’s is even adding Apple Pay to their drive-through,” said Cue snarkily, eliciting the softest of applause.

Immediately after, Cue announced Whole Foods’ adoption of Apple Pay, which brought on the loudest cheers up to that point.

But the audience’s wildest reaction took place when Cook announced “one more thing.”

Apple Watch is Apple’s first attempt at wearable technology and its most “intimate. We didn’t shrink the user interface [from iPhone],” assured Cook. Instead, the watch holds true to the makeup of an actual watch by focusing on the use of the dial on the side–referred to in Apple terms as the digital crown.

 

Apple Watch band styles and interfaces. Courtesy of apple.com

Apple Watch band styles and interfaces. Image courtesy of apple.com

Apple Watch’s most prominent feature is its ability to measure wearers’ vital signs. It can vibrate gently, providing subtle reminders like an alert to stand up after sitting for more than an hour. A system of digital rings that represent exercise goals or physical goals throughout the day grow and close once each goal has been reached. Apple Watch becomes familiar with users overtime, suggesting goals that are “personal, realistic and achievable.”

Key Apple Watch features include

  • LEDs and photo sensors that detect your pulse
  • ways of communicating between watches, with features like sending your heartbeat to someone else
  • a range of watch faces to choose from, customize and change
  • animated emojis that can be edited
  • social media syncing
  • communication with iPhone, especially with email interface

Apple Watch will be released in early 2015, and companies have jumped on board by developing apps. The Starwood Preferred Guests hotel app lets you unlock your hotel door by simply tapping your watch, and the American Airlines app is meant to help customers navigate flight times and locations.

The most enjoyable part of viewing the event from home was the ability to mute Tim Cook when his emphasis on how “great” the devices are got redundant and just focus on the striking images on screen. The designs are new and beautiful while still holding true to Apple’s simple, sleek style. But their success cannot be determined until they are released to the public.

In case things weren’t “great” enough, U2 concluded the event.

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