Go Big or Go Home...
...or, in the case of Apple, both!
Apple returned to the Flint Center in Cupertino (the site where they unveiled the original Mac in 1984) for their much anticipated 9/9/2014 press conference. Tim Cook once again proved the Apple Team to be serious innovators. Apple's motto held strong yesterday— "it's not about being the first, but being the best".
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are not the first phones to go big, nor are they the first to integrate NFC (I'll get to that later), but they are going to be the ones recognized for doing it right. The new iPhones are much larger at 4.7" and 5.5", as rumored, but are slimmer and lighter and have a higher or comparable resolution to their competitors. According to Apple, the newer, prettier screen will not compromise battery life, which will supposedly last for 14 hours of HD video watching or 80 hours of music listening (at least until the iPhone 6s is announced when that will go to 1.4 and 8 hours respectively). The new iPhone isn't just a pretty face. It features the new A8 and M8 processors, with CPU power up to 50x faster than the original iPhone and graphics up to 84x faster...all while being 50% more energy efficient than the A7 chip in the iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 6 comes with a completely redesigned camera with a new sensor and more lenses. More important than the hardware updates, however, are the new software features. Both new phones come with a new 240 fps slow motion mode (that is SLOW) and multiple advancements in focusing technology to help the camera continually autofocus while taking video or focus on smaller objects while shooting macro. The 6 Plus comes with a feature called optical image stabilization which goes one step further and uses the motion sensors like the gyrometer to track and cancel hand movements, creating truly incredible photos in any scenario.
Apple didn't stop at rocking out the smartphone market, they wanted to top the smartwatch market as well. The new Apple Watch, coming in early 2015, will be a wrist-worn computer featuring GPS and health apps along with many more features. We don't have a whole lot of information on this device yet, only that it will start at $349 and come in three versions; a regular, a sport, and an Edition (yeah it IS called the Apple Watch Edition edition).
Even after the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch announcements, something else claims Best of Show in the mind of this blogger. Apple Pay is a feature, available at release on the new iPhones and Apple Watches, that will revolutionize the way we pay for things. You will now be able to pay using any of the cards you add to your passbook app (it has a use now!) with only a quick scanning of your fingerprint. Beyond that, however, you can swipe your phone using NFC at any of the many locations supporting this feature such as Macy's, Whole Foods or even McDonalds. This means you never have to take your cards out of your wallet, keeping private info private. If you lose your iPhone, don't fret! You can disable all purchases from that device through Find My iPhone although anyone who found your phone would also have had to have found your finger in order to make purchases, in which case you have a bigger problem. This feature will also be integrated into the Apple Watch upon its release and will allow you to pay with a swipe of the wrist, true future stuff!